COPD (Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease) includes chronic bronchitis (inflammation in the lungs) and emphysema (damage to the air sacs in the lungs) and affects middle aged and older people and is usually associated with smoking, though there can be other causes.
Often you don't recognise the symptoms until it has progressed quite far, causing shortness of breath or wheezing and a frequent or persistent cough with phlegm and 'chest infections'. Eventually it may restrict activities and some people end up needing oxygen in their house or to carry around.
There is a lot you can do to improve things or at least slow its progression.
It must be diagnosed promptly, so if you are over 35 and are a smoker or ex-smoker have symptoms, please come and see us -we'll arrange a chest XR and lung function test (spirometry)