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Long-term conditions

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Easy read: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (NHS Direct Wales website, opens in a new window)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

It includes

  • emphysema – damage to the air sacs in the lungs
  • chronic bronchitis – long-term inflammation of the airways

For more information on COPD visit British Lung Foundation - What is COPD? (opens in a new window).

The chances of developing COPD increases if you

  • smoke
  • exposed to air pollutants
  • exposed to fumes and dust at work
  • have a genetic predisposition

For more information visit NHS Choices - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - Causes (opens in a new window).

If you have a diagnosis of COPD, taking small steps can reduce the impact it has on your life. For more information visit NHS Choices - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - Living with (opens in a new window).

The COPD patient passport can help you to find out whether you're receiving the care you're entitled to, and what to do if not. Read more at British Lung Foundation - COPD Patient Passport (opens in a new window).

Find support in your area

The British Lung Foundation has information on local support groups in your area: