You are going up the stairs and feel every last bit of oxygen leave your body. You stop walking but are unable to catch your breath. How are you going to fight this?

COPD, the collective term for two major lung diseases: chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a progressive disease that prevents air flow from going in and out of the airways. Although COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US, most people don’t know about it or are misinformed.

What’s true and what’s not?


FACT: People are often diagnosed with COPD in their 50s and 60s, but it can begin as early as 20.

Contrary to popular belief, COPD can begin as early as age 20, and it is not uncommon among those at the age of 40. COPD diagnoses in older patients is often made at a late stage of their sickness when the symptoms are so distinct they cannot be ignored any longer.


FACT: COPD can also cause high blood pressure and can increase your risk of heart disease.

When the alveoli are damaged by smoke, their elasticity decreases, making it harder for the lungs to inhale all the oxygen that the body needs. Without oxygen, your body can’t function properly. COPD can cause high blood pressure, increase your risk of heart disease and depression.

MORE: Smoking, the Aftermath


FACT: Shortness of breath can make exercise more difficult. But exercise is an important part of treating COPD.

Having a workout routine might seem impossible if you suffer from COPD, but exercise is not a far-fetched dream! Exercising can be an uphill battle, however, it helps your heart be more efficient and make your whole system work better. Continual exercise will better your physical condition and increase your exercising capacity.

MORE: Exercise is not a far-fetched dream


FACT: COPD isn’t curable, but it is treatable. You can manage the disease and slow down the destruction.

There is no cure for COPD; however, clinical trials are being conducted to offer new and more advanced treatment options that aren’t yet available to the public.

If you are suffering from COPD, you may consider participating in a research study to learn more about your condition and help doctors better treat those who suffer from it. Important studies are currently enrolling in the Winter Park, FL area at Clinical Site Partners. Study participants receive free study-related care by board-certified doctors and are compensated for their time and travel expenses.