Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing.
It’s caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.
COPD symptoms often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a daily cough and mucus (sputum) production at least three months a year for two consecutive years.