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What is COPD?

COPD can cause airway inflammation and blockage making it difficult to breathe.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that includes emphysema (damage to the lung tissue) and chronic bronchitis (inflammation of the breathing tubes).

An inflammation of the airways

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have inflammation of the airways , bronchi, and lung tissue (chronic bronchitis). This inflammation leads to a narrowing of the airways, preventing air from passing through easily. Depending on the stage of the disease, the pulmonary alveoli (small air sacs in the lungs) deteriorate and are eventually destroyed: this is called pulmonary emphysema (or emphysema).

Today, COPD affects nearly 3 million Canadians

1 in 7 Canadians aged 45 to 49 may have COPD

COPD Symptoms

As the disease progresses over time, it can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Feeling out of breath
  • Frequent coughing
  • Saliva and mucus production (sputum)
  • Chest infections

As symptoms persist or get worse, people with COPD may be at risk of an event called an exacerbation which is a severe flare up of symptoms which may result in a hospitalization.

If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of COPD, take this short pre-screening quiz to see if you should talk to your doctor about getting tested.

80% of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease cases are attributed to smoking

COPD Risk Factors

Lifestyle and genetic factors may increase the risk of COPD or contribute to its worsening. These include:

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Long-term exposure to harmful dust, fumes, chemicals and secondhand smoke
  • Genetics and frequent lower respiratory tract infections during childhood
  • An unhealthy lifestyle and poor nutrition
  • Air pollution is considered an aggravating factor, which increases the risk of an exacerbation
  • COPD can lead to decreased physical activity and reduced exercise tolerance further aggravating the disease

Take This COPD Pre-Screening Quiz to Find Out if You Are at Risk

Take this short quiz to find out if you may be at risk or experiencing signs of COPD. This pre-screening quiz is for information purposes only and should not replace a complete medical examination by a doctor. If you think you may have COPD or are worried about your health, please see your healthcare practitioner.

The results of this quiz will help you determine if you should speak to your doctor about being tested for COPD. By completing this quiz, you confirm that you are in agreement with VitalAire’s privacy policy.

Take the Quiz

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