Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term referring to two lung diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Both conditions cause obstruction of airflow that interferes with normal breathing.

Both frequently exist together, so physicians prefer the term COPD.

COPD is preventable and treatable. This definition of COPD does not include other obstructive diseases such as asthma, although uncontrolled asthma over a lifetime can result in damage and COPD.

Learn more about COPD.

Persons with COPD may benefit from a pulmonary rehabilitation program or involvement in a Better Breathers Club.