COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a long-term lung disease often caused by smoking. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Many people with COPD have both bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is a serious respiratory condition. What does COPD do to my lungs? COPD slowly damages your airways, the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. COPD makes airways swollen and partly blocked by mucus. It also damages the tiny air sacs at the tips of your airways. This makes it hard to move air in and out of your lungs. What are the symptoms of COPD? The main symptoms of COPD are a long-lasting cough, coughing up mucus, and being short of breath. People with COPD usually have one or more of these symptoms:
- a cough that lasts a long time, or coughing up mucus
- feeling short of breath, especially when you are making an effort (climbing stairs, exercising)
- many lung infections that last a long time (the flu, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.)
- wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
- feeling tired (fatigue)
- losing weight without trying
People might think that feeling short of breath is a normal sign of ageing— but it's not. If you have these signs and symptoms, see your doctor who can advise you on COPD treatment. Ask for a spirometry test, a simple test that measures how much air you can move out of your lungs. The sooner you see the doctor, the sooner you can get proper treatment for your COPD. If you are over 40 and currently smoke, or you've smoked in the past, you may be at risk for COPD. However, breathing exercises as apart of your COPD treatment can help you breathe more easily For more information on the effects of Inspiratory muscle training for people with COPD, read this research paper.