Both emphysema and chronic bronchitis are considered to be progressive lung diseases that fall under the general term COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is marked by inflammation and narrowing of the airway walls, leading to decreased airflow in the lungs over time. Inflammation is the local response of the body to cell injury, characterized by irritation and thickening of the airways.
Asthma is a different lung disease but can sometimes be mistaken for COPD because of similar symptoms, such as persistent coughing and shortness of breath. However, COPD and asthma are associated with different triggers and risk factors. People with asthma are more likely to have allergies, while people with COPD are more likely to have a history of smoking.
SYMPTOMS OF COPD CAN BEGIN TO SHOW
AS EARLY AS AGE 40
If you have any questions about your diagnosis, be sure to ask your doctor.