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The Different "Types"


Know Your Meds - A Reference Guide for Canadians


(pdf version)


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Are You Newly Diagnosed?



If Nothing Else, Read This


Just Between Us - From Your Fellow COPDer's



Breathing Distress


Anxiety & Pursed Lip Breathing (PLB) (Part 1)


Pursed Lip Breathing   (Part 2)


Diagphagmatic Breathing


Exhale & Relax

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(Understanding Them)



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Pulmonary Function 101 (Understanding How Your Lungs Work)

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About Them, Why Own One




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Why It's Important


Nutritional Needs & Foods To Avoid

For COPD Caregivers & Support People



Dear family


Sick Lungs Don't Show

Lung Transplant



Lung Transplant Ctrs in Canada


Meet Melody (pre transplant ) The Waiting


Post Transplant Q's &A's of Melody


Follow a Couple of Tx Patients on Their Journey

This site & the information contained herein

2005 - 2015

What Is COPD?  ( also known as COLD or CORD)

C hronic - means it's on-going; doesn't go away

O bstructive - means it's partially blocked

P ulmonary - it's in the lungs

D isease - An  illness

COPD is a progressive lung disease that affects more than 1.3 M ("diagnosed" )  Canadians.

What's It's Comprised Of?  Usually Chronic Bronchitis and/or Emphysema.  Many COPD sufferers may also have an asthma component.

Chronic Bronchitis affects the lining inside your bronchial tubes. They get irritated and fill with mucus resulting in a wet cough.  The mucus plugs or blocks the tubes marking it harder for you to breathe. 

With emphysema the tiny hair like air sacs called "alveoli" get irritated and stiff making it hard to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide.  The end result is shortness of breath.

What Does It Do? It blocks and narrows the airways and inflames the lungs causing obstruction.

What Are the Symptoms or Characteristics?  The common characteristics of COPD is trouble breathing (shortness of breath aka SOB) and/or a cough lasting 3 or more months. You may have noticed you have to stop and catch your breath more,  or perhaps you don't exercise as much because you've always thought you were "out of shape".  Perhaps you are, or you were, a smoker and you have developed what many refer to as a "smoker's cough".

Note:  You may have COPD even if you don't cough.  You may still develop COPD even if you quit smoking some time (years) before.

How Did I Get It? It's believed that 80-90% of the cases of COPD is caused from smoking.  New evidence is also showing that pollution, dust and chemicals from certain occupations, air pollution in general, repeated bouts of early childhood respiratory infections and genes  (Alpha 1 Deficiency) may have contributed to the development of this disease . 

Will It Ever Go Away or Get Better?  No; it will never go away; once you have it there's no turning back the clock.  The damage cannot be undone. No; it will not "get better" but the symptoms can be managed and slowed with the right medicines and life style changes.


For additional information on COPD and the causes of this disease, please visit Web MD's page 

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Cause


You can also visit the Public Health Agency of Canada  for information and resource links

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Check out    GOLD's info video   on COPD (animation) on this disease


This page was last updated December 2013














































































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