9. Tuberculosis

· · COPD
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease that can lie dormant in the lungs for years before becoming active. If active TB is left untreated, it can destroy the lungs—moreover, because TB bacteria infect the alveoli, bacteria also can move into the bloodstream and infect the lymph nodes, bones, joints, kidneys, … Read More

8. Pneumonia

· · COPD
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, a virus (such as the flu virus), or another infectious agent. The severity of pneumonia depends on several factors, including which germ is responsible and the strength of the individual’s immune system. When the immune system detects an … Read More

6. Bronchiectasis

· · COPD
Bronchiectasis is a chronic obstructive airway disease in which the bronchi become damaged and collapse. Bronchial walls contain elastic and muscle fibers, which allow the bronchial tubes to expand and contract while maintaining their shape. In people with bronchiectasis, the elastic and muscular components in the walls of medium-sized bronchi … Read More

5. Asthma

· · COPD
Asthma is a chronic disease that normally starts in childhood. It can, however, occur for the first time in adulthood. It affects about 19 million adults and 7.7 million children in the United States (see “Latest Asthma Statistics”). Asthma causes inflammation in the airways, which results in episodes of coughing, … Read More

4. Treating COPD

· · COPD
Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cannot be cured—the damage it causes to the lungs is irreversible—the disease can be treated. Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms, improving the ability to exercise, preventing and treating complications and exacerbations, and slowing disease progression. For current smokers with COPD, the first step … Read More

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