COPD Vs Asthma: Whats The Difference?

COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a disease in which releasing the used air from the lungs becomes very difficult for patients.

This can cause shortness of breath or even breathlessness sometimes. The disease can be progressive as the situation get worse with time.

Some of the most common causes of COPD are: family history, smoking and dust inhalation due to polluted working environment or home. Symptoms of COPD may be like coughing that produces mucus which is thick, shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.

Patients with COPD problem and their loved ones may have to deal with this disease lifelong as there is almost no chance of getting cured completely.

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COPD Vs Asthma Differences

COPD and asthma are both chronic in nature and are often mistaken with one other due to similar overlapping characteristics.

Although both these conditions cause inability to breathe air easily (shortness of breath) and are diagnosed with similar breathing tests (spirometry); there are number of differences between set them apart from each other.

The key difference between asthma and COPD lies in the disordered physiological processes associated with disease.

Where, the airways become inflamed and irritable in asthma condition; lungs get damaged (completely or partially) in COPD due to certain irritants. Due to more severe nature of COPD airflow can only be partially (or not at all) restored in COPD.

For more detailed list of differences between asthma and COPD, you can check the table/chart here and here.

Can Asthma Lead To COPD?

Studies reveal that people with asthma are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema than people without asthmatic conditions.

This simply means that if you are suffering from chronic asthma problems, you may be at high risk of getting COPD problem and other deadly lung diseases, sooner or later in life.

As COPD is a condition which cannot be cured fully, patient need to think of getting some best treatment plans which will help them to deal the situation better.

After all, they need to learn with the symptoms of COPD and asthma together; and at the same time learn about how to breathe and live comfortably.

Also Read: Difference between inhaler and nebulizer

Asthma Vs COPD Treatment

In general there are two types of lung diseases. These are known as obstructive and restrictive lung diseases. The most common lung diseases that are obstructive in nature are: Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis and Asthma.

If anyone is diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, then he or she has at least two of these diseases. And for this reason every COPD patient is treated differently considering the nature and cause of the disease.

The severity of the disease can be mild, moderate or severe. And the type or level of treatment generally depends on the severity of the diseases.

Pulmonary rehabilitation can be a best treatment plan amongst many other COPD and asthma treatment plans. This includes a planned set of exercises, counseling and training on disease management.

This will help the patients to accomplish daily tasks with comfort and ease. Also it helps them to stay active on a regular basis.

Studies shows that breathing exercise is a very good treatment plan for COPD as well as asthma. By following a good nutrition chart and a proper breathing exercise program, a patient can live with ease and comfort.

Medication for COPD can be the part of the treatment which can be given as steroids, antibiotics or immunizations depending on the severity of the disease.

Installing humidifier in rooms are also good and are many times recommended by doctors for relieving the issue.

Although all the above remedies and treatment plan is well suited for both COPD and asthma patients, COPD patient also has to take necessary steps to prevent the progression of COPD.

If the patient is a smoker then the very first step will be to stop smoking. Besides that the patients should avoid passive smoking also if they can.

COPD patients should also keep themselves away from dust and pollution as this will help them a lot in avoiding the conditions getting worse.