COPD and treatments | Living with COPD and oxygen equipment to help.

What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a catch-all term for a number of respiratory diseases. The diseases of COPD include chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, asthma and bronchiectasis (a chronic inflammatory or degenerative condition of one or more bronchi or bronchioles marked by dilatation and loss of elasticity of the walls).

COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung. The inflammatory response in the larger airways is known as chronic bronchitis, which is diagnosed clinically when people regularly cough up sputum. In the alveoli, the inflammatory response causes destruction of the tissues of the lung, a process known as emphysema. The natural course of COPD is characterized by occasional sudden worsenings of symptoms called acute exacerbations, most of which are caused by infections or air pollution.