What is COPD?

COPD is a serious lung disease that over time, makes it hard to breathe. You may also have heard COPD called other names, like emphysema or chronic bronchitis. In people who have COPD, the airways—tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs—are partially blocked, which makes it hard to get air in and out.

When COPD is severe, shortness of breath and other symptoms of COPD can get in the way of even the most basic tasks, such as doing light housework, taking a walk, even washing and dressing.

Did You Know?

  • COPD is a leading cause of death in the United States and causes serious, long-term disability
  • COPD kills more than 150,000 Americans each year.
    That's one death every 4 minutes.
  • 16 million are told by a health care provider that they have COPD
    Several additional millions likely have COPD and don't even know it.