COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a lung disease which is due to weak, damaged lungs mainly caused by prolonged smoking.

You cannot really undo the lung damage so COPD can get worse over time. COPD is generally a mix of chronic bronchitis and emphysema in which air sacs in the lungs get damaged and less air can get in or out. This means with COPD you are always short of breath. Here’s what you need to know about COPD:

1. It is caused when over time tobacco smoke destroys the air sacs and the stretchy fibers in the lungs. Besides tobacco prolonged exposure to polluted air, dust or fumes can lead to this.

2. It is characterized by long lasting cough, where mucus also comes up. You get short of breath during exercise or long walks. In worst case scenario COPD can cause you shortness of breath even when doing simple tasks. You end up losing weight.

3. Listen to your lungs, get a chest x ray and give up smoking.

4. Avoid very cold or dry air which can irritate your throat and lungs

5. Use an air filter at home to purify the air in case your COPD is exacerbated.

6. Eat a healthy diet and practice breathing exercises to manage the problem.