Advertisement

Is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) serious?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious disease and the third leading cause of death in the United States. When diagnosed early, mild COPD can be managed and symptoms may not interfere with daily life. Advanced and end-stage COPD, however, can have a serious impact on your daily life. Difficulty breathing may prevent or hinder your ability to engage in daily activities. For example, you may need to live on the first floor of your home rather than walk up and down stairs. You may also find eating a large meal difficult and even struggle to bend down and tie your shoes. During periods of exacerbation, you may need assistance breathing from a mechanical ventilator, and may even become permanently dependent on a ventilator. In advanced cases, COPD may ultimately lead to complications resulting in death.

Continue Learning about COPD

How to Avoid Common COPD Triggers
How to Avoid Common COPD Triggers
Often referred to as COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic respiratory illness that makes it difficult for a person to breathe and ...
Read More
Ask the Experts: COPD Prevention
Ask the Experts: COPD Prevention
Lifestyle changes can help prevent COPD. In this video, Dr. Oz discusses the importance of quitting smoking, reducing your exposure to secondhand smok...
Read More
How does obesity affect chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Obesity tends to worsen all medical conditions, and this is particularly true with chronic obstructi...
More Answers
How is Alpha-1 COPD different from regular COPD?
COPD FoundationCOPD Foundation
A person who has never smoked can still develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One of...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.