Learn all about Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease AKA COPD.
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What is COPD? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD for short is a lung disease that affects millions of people. COPD includes diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. A person with COPD may have either emphysema or chronic bronchitis but most have both. Some people with COPD may also have asthma like symptoms such as squeezing. Let's take a look inside the lungs to see what is happening. First, look at the normal lung, the air sacks or alveoli look like a bunch of grapes. Now look at the air sacks of emphysema. In emphysema there is damage to the walls of the air sacks or alveoli in the lungs. This results in a smaller number of normal air sacks making it more difficult to transfer oxygen into the blood stream. Also, the lungs may not be able to get rid of carbon-dioxide as well. Damaged lungs also lose their stretchiness or elasticity. Look back at the normal airway, the airway is clear. Now, look at the airway of chronic bronchitis. In chronic bronchitis there is a long lasting cough and mucus production. The airways in the lungs become swollen and produce more mucus.