Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, that limit airflow and make breathing challenging.
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Signs of COPD usually don’t appear until significant lung damage has already occurred. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a persistent cough that lasts at least three months a year for two consecutive years. People with COPD are also likely to have periods when their symptoms worsen and persist for days or longer, called exacerbations.
Common signs and symptoms of COPD include:
- Chest tightness
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Unintended weight loss
- Shortness of breath, especially with mild exercise
- Blueness of the lips or fingernails (cyanosis)
- Chronic cough with mucus