Lung disease is considered to be any problem in the lungs that prevents them from working the way that they should. Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) are both chronic lung diseases. Both diseases can restrict your day to day life and can have an overall effect on your health.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a disease where your airways become inflamed and narrow, leading to an overproduction of mucus. Individuals with this condition can have coughing episodes and difficulty breathing. Asthma can change over time and vary widely from being a slight inconvenience to life threatening. An asthma attack is an unexpected worsening of symptoms. There are various triggers than can prompt an asthma attack such as:
- Airborne substances (pet dander or pollen)
- Respiratory infection
- Physical activity
- Exposure to cold air
What is COPD?
COPD is a progressive disease meaning it gets worse over time and it is the third leading cause of death in the United states. COPD is an “umbrella term” and it can be used to describe multiple chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is when lung air sacs are damaged, allowing less air to get in and out of the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is when the airways carrying air to the lungs are inflamed, making breathing difficult. Certain factors put you more at risk for developing COPD such as smoking, long- term contact with second hand smoke, and working with hazardous irritants.
Symptoms of COPD include:
- Increased breathlessness
- Chronic coughing
- Tightness in the chest
- Frequent colds, flus, or other respiratory infections.
There is no cure for Asthma or COPD, however there are treatments that can help manage them. These treatments can help relieve symptoms and may help you breathe easier.
If you or a loved one have been affected by one or both of these diseases and would like to participate in a study, contact our ARC clinical research team at 512-225-5931 or contact us online.