Advertisement

Is there a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

As of now, there is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it involves disease of the lungs that is not reversible. There are things patients can do to prevent the disease from becoming more severe and to prevent other complications. Quitting smoking is the most important change people can make, to help stop the disease from worsening faster than if people continue to smoke. Yearly flu vaccination as well as the pneumonia vaccine is important, as people with COPD already have lung disease and will have a harder time with these illnesses. Other treatments include medications that help with symptoms of COPD such as wheezing and coughing.
Paul M. Ehrlich, MD
Allergy & Immunology
Wheezing and coughing are usually rapidly reversible, inflammation is slowly reversible, but COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), caused by emphysema for example, is permanent. We can relieve the wheezing, coughing, and inflammation, but emphysema is a fixed, permanent, irreversible disease. A spate of advertising for Advair may well complicate the discussion. It may suggest that by treating bronchoconstriction and inflammation we can treat COPD. Advair or Symbicort may make it easier to breathe, but they cannot control or reverse the tissue destruction from the underlying disease.
Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

More About this Book

Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

Asthma and allergies are at epidemic proportions. It doesn't have to be that way. Two experienced pediatric allergists tell everything a conscientious parent needs to know about these conditions,...

There is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Damage done to the lungs is permanent, and causes air to be trapped in the lungs even after a person exhales, resulting in shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. While treatments can alleviate symptoms and improve airflow, they cannot cure COPD. Prevention is the best cure: never smoke, or stop smoking immediately to reduce your risk for developing COPD.

Continue Learning about COPD

Have COPD? Get Your Flu Shot
Have COPD? Get Your Flu Shot
Comedian and late-night TV host Johnny Carson died in 2005 from emphysema. That and chronic bronchitis are the two most common forms of chronic obstru...
Read More
How do other illnesses affect obstructive lung disease?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Several other illnesses are strongly associated with obstructive lung disease. Obstructive lung dise...
More Answers
How does chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affect the lungs?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
Lung damage in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) happens in two ways. First, in chronic b...
More Answers
The Link Between COPD and Depression
The Link Between COPD and Depression

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.