COPD: the third leading cause of death

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive and incurable lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, non-reversible asthma, and some bronchial tube conditions (bronchiectasis). It is also the third leading cause of death.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Increased breathlessness
  • Frequent coughing (with and without sputum)
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest

Anyone with the following should be tested:

  • History of smoking
  • Long-term exposure to air pollutants  air pollution and second-hand smoke
  • Chronic cough with or without sputum
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath that has become worse over time
  • Difficulty keeping up with people your age

If left untreated, heart conditions can develop as well as serious respiratory infections. Learn more about COPD by watching the video above.

Spectrum Health Medical Group