Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease , or COPD, is a common form of chronic inflammatory lung disease. It is one of the major causes of death worldwide.
The disease is characterized by inflammation and damage of the airways, lung tissue, and pulmonary veins as a result of exposure to gases and chemicals that cause prolonged irritation. These can cause airways to gradually narrow and constrict or lead to permanent obstruction — which cannot be fully rehabilitated.
The 2 most common forms of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, conditions that often occur in conjunction with one another; asthma and bronchiectasis are also related forms of the disease.