Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma are lung diseases. Both make it hard to breathe as they cause inflammation of airways.
Asthma is triggered by something you’re allergic to, like mold or pollen, or by physical activity. A group of lung diseases is known as COPD and that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Some people may have both COPD and asthma at the same time. Your doctor may call it asthma-COPD overlap syndrome.
People who are exposed to chemicals or pollution at work for many years have higher chances of having COPD. That is the reason why it often starts later in life or in middle age.
Asthma can be due to gene changes that are passed down through families. You’re at risk if one of your parents has the disease. In childhood itself, the symptoms will start showing.
Other things can also increase your chances of Asthma:
One main difference is that asthma typically causes tightness in your chest and attacks of wheezing. COPD can include a cough that brings up phlegm.
Your doctor will start with a physical exam to figure out which condition you have. They’ll look at your nose and throat and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
Your doctor may also suggest a test called spirometry that checks how well your lungs work.
A challenge test is another way to diagnose asthma. You breathe in an asthma trigger and then you take a spirometry test to see if your airways have narrowed.
Tests to diagnose COPD may also include:
Symptoms come and go with asthma. For some people, these may be more often or more serious.
To help keep asthma symptoms at bay your doctor may prescribe long-term medicines.
COPD can get worse over time. Following a treatment plan can slow this down.
A few non-drug treatments can also help control COPD symptoms
Smoking can aggravate COPD or Asthma. So, it’s best to stop smoking as well as stay away from anything that irritates your lungs, such as:
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