Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that cause damage to the lungs and make breathing increasingly difficult. The following disorders or conditions are common causes of COPD:
An inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Chronic bronchitis results from constant irritation, often due to smoking.
Emphysema occurs when the air sacs at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) in the lungs are gradually destroyed. As the number of air sacs is reduced, oxygen entering the lungs does not reach the bloodstream. Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin (ATT) deficiency is the genetic form of emphysema. AAT, a protein predominantly made in the liver and secreted into the blood stream, helps protect the lungs. AAT deficiency affects the liver in most infants and children who have this disorder. For adults, treatment options are the same as those for COPD. People with ATT deficiency who show signs of developing emphysema can be treated with protein replacement to try to prevent further damage to the lungs.
A serious, chronic lung condition in which abnormal widening of the bronchial tubes affects the ability to clear mucus from the lungs.