Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Information

What is it?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a number of long-term conditions that are related to the obstruction of airflow in the lungs. There are two main types of COPD:

  1. Emphysema is when the air sacs known as alveoli lose their elasticity therefore causing the airways to become narrow. This causes a difficulty in breathing as oxygen is more reluctantly allowed to pass through the airways.
  2. Chronic Bronchitis is when the lung branches known as bronchi become inflamed and therefore increases mucus production in the airways, this phlegm causes aggressive coughing.

What causes it?

  • Smoking.
  • Poor Nutrition – maintaining a healthy diet is important in sustaining good lung health.
  • Lack of fitness and exercise.
  • Stress – indirectly – due to the strain put on the body and inability to cope with other illnesses.

 What are we doing about it?

The Institute for Respiratory Health’s research programs explore new ways to prevent, and better understand COPD and improve its diagnosis and management.

Other information can be found at the Asthma Foundation WAAustralian Institute of Health and WelfareAsthma Foundation AustraliaLung Foundation Australia and Healthdirect Australia.