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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common, preventable and treatable disease characterized by limited airflow due to airway and/or alveolar abnormalities. It is not completely reversible, is ongoing and is usually caused by significant exposure to toxic particles or gases.
COPD has previously been labeled as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. While the symptoms are similar, COPD should be considered its own disease state.
Symptoms of COPD can result in:
There are several preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of COPD.
There are no markers for COPD, so spirometry is the gold standard for confirming airflow limitations.
Symptoms can be managed by the increased use of bronchodilators, steroids
and, occasionally, antibiotics.
COPD status is primarily maintained. The goals of maintenance are to:
Pharmacologic therapy can: