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How To Know If You Have Copd Or Asthma

Whos Likely To Have Asthma Copd Or Aco

People who smoke or breathe in pollution or chemicals at work for many years have higher chances of having COPD. That’s why the condition often starts in middle age or later in life.

Asthma is sometimes caused by gene changes that are passed down through families. If one of your parents has the disease, you’re more likely to have it.

Symptoms of asthma often start in childhood, and the condition is one of the most widespread long-term illnesses in kids. It affects about 1 in 10 children.

Besides a family history of the condition, a few things can raise your chances of asthma:

  • Smoking
  • Being around chemicals or other irritants in the air

People who get ACO tend to be over 40 but younger than people with just COPD, and they have allergies .

What Are Some Tips For Managing Emphysema

The best way to prevent or reduce further problems is to prevent respiratory infections by:

  • Practicing good handwashing methods
  • Brushing and flossing teeth daily, and using an antibacterial mouth rinse after meals
  • Keeping breathing equipment clean
  • Keeping your house clean and free of dust
  • Getting a flu shot every year
  • Following a doctor-prescribed exercise program
  • Avoiding irritants such as:

Signs Of Worsening Copd

In addition, as you or your loved one become more isolated due to activity tolerance or dependence on oxygen, anxiety, and depression can set in. Because of these mental and physical changes, you may start sleeping for longer and longer periods, causing further isolation.1,2

Complications such as heart disease or serious respiratory infections also become more likely as your lungs deteriorate. In fact, these are more common causes of death in people with COPD than the COPD itself.

In the final days, the person with COPD may withdraw, not talking, eating, drinking or moving much. There may be changes in the breathing patterns, such as long pauses between breaths. The skin may become pale and cool.2

Younger Generations Could Be Less Predisposed To Copd

Not all news surrounding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is negative. Youll be happy to know that younger generations may be far less predisposed to contracting COPD than their parents and grandparents. This is primarily due to changing regulations surrounding smoking and pollution, and more stigma surrounding smoking at a young age.



On July 1, 2006, the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect which banned smoking in public indoor places. This law was updated in 2019 to include the following:


  • E-cigarettes and vaping are now included in the ban
  • Originally, smoking was not permitted within 15 feet of a public building; this has been extended to 25 feet
  • Exemptions for smoking areas in airports and hotels have been removed


While other states have their own rules and regulations concerning smoking and vaping, generally speaking, the country is moving in the right direction when it comes to lowering the risk of future generations contracting COPD, lung cancer, and other chronic lung conditions.


Another factor to consider is the increased social stigma attached to smoking. In the past, smoking was seen as stylish or cool, but over time, public perception of smoking has changed significantly. A study done by UC San Francisco and Stanford University School of Medicine examined the adolescent perception of smoking in 2001 versus 2015 and found that its largely looked down upon.





What Are The Symptoms Of Copd


At first, you may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. As the disease gets worse, your symptoms usually become more severe. They can include

  • Frequent coughing or a cough that produces a lot mucus
  • Wheezing
  • A whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe
  • Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
  • Tightness in your chest

Some people with COPD get frequent respiratory infections such as colds and the . In severe cases, COPD can cause weight loss, weakness in your lower muscles, and swelling in your ankles, feet, or legs.

Both Conditions Have Similar Symptoms Like Wheezing And Shortness Of Breath

If you feel short of breath while exercising, or youre prone to fits of coughing, you may be wondering if asthma or COPD could be to blame. Asthma and are often confused or lumped together because they share some of the same symptoms.

Both conditions cause wheezing and shortness of breath, says , a pulmonary, internal medicine and critical care specialist from Lourdes Health System in Camden, New Jersey. But not everyone who wheezes has asthma, nor do they necessarily have COPDit takes a little more investigating to figure out which condition it is.

Here are some key similarities between the two conditions and how to tell them apart.

What are asthma and COPD? Asthma is a chronic lung disease that often appears during childhood. It may be reversed over time, but many people have for life. It causes airway tightening, inflammation and constriction in the lungs. The small airways actually narrow, leading to shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, says Dr. Roy.

These symptoms become especially severe during asthma attacks. Asthma attacks may be brought on by a number of such as allergies, exercise, irritating fragrances and lung infections. Attacks can be life threatening, but theyre usually treatable at home with rescue inhalers like albuterol.

COPD is a group of chronic lung diseases, which are almost always caused by smoking and dont typically appear until after age 40. These diseases include chronic bronchitis and emphysema, says Roy.

  • Avoiding triggers

When To Get Medical Advice

See a GP if you have persistent symptoms of COPD, particularly if you’re over 35 and smoke or used to smoke.

There are several conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as asthmabronchiectasis, anaemia and heart failure. A simple breathing test can help determine if you have COPD.

Find out more about tests for COPD.

While there’s currently no cure for COPD, the sooner treatment begins, the less chance there is of severe lung damage.

Find out more about how COPD is treated.

Page last reviewed: 20 September 2019 Next review due: 20 September 2022

Increased Shortness Of Breath

Worsening shortness of breath is a cardinal signal that your COPD is getting more severe, says Robert A. Wise, MD, the director of research in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. If climbing the stairs or walking up a slight incline has become harder for you, that could indicate your condition is deteriorating, says Dr. Wise.

If the increase in shortness of breath is relatively mild, your symptoms could be managed by your doctor by increasing medication or adding medications, says McCormack. In more severe cases it might require an emergency room visit or hospitalization, she says.

How To Score Your Copd Quiz:

In the spaces below, write the number that is next to your answer for each of the questions. Add the number to get the total score. The total score can range from 0 to 10.

____+____ +____+____ +____ =________

                              TOTAL SCORE

If your total score is 5 or more, this means your breathing problems may be caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . The higher your score, the more likely you are to have COPD. COPD is often referred to as chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema and is a serious lung disease that slowly gets worse over time. While COPD cannot be cured, it is treatable, so please share your answers to the five question screener with your healthcare professional.

Parade Daily

If your total score is between 0 and 4, and you are experiencing problems with your breathing, please share your answers to the five-question screener with your doctor or health care professional.

Only your health care professional can decide if you have COPD. Your health care professional can help evaluate your breathing problems by performing a breathing test, also known as spirometry. Dont wait. Call your doctor today to make an appointment to see if you may be at risk for COPD. Remember, when speaking to your health care professional, be honest and open in describing your symptoms and explain how your breathing problems affect your activity level on a daily basis.

Get more information on COPD at DRIVE4COPD.

Copd Takes Several Years To Develop

One of the main differences that sets COPD apart from lung cancer and other chronic illnesses is the rate at which it develops. According to MedicineNet, small cell lung cancer is known to develop extremely quickly and can often result in death within 6 months if it is left untreated.


COPD is very different from this because youll see the disease develop over several years or even decades rather than over months. While smoking immediately results in symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness, it takes several years before medical professionals can actually associate these symptoms with COPD.



Another factor contributing to the rate of onset of COPD is how many cigarettes you smoke and how frequently you smoke. While researchers arent entirely sure what amount of cigarettes will cause COPD, they do agree that even just one cigarette can cause permanent damage to the body.  


Many people consider themselves to be social smokers because they only smoke when theyre with friends. These people may feel better about their habit because they feel more in control of how much they smoke, but the truth is, they may be at just as high of a risk of contracting COPD as a chronic smoker.





Asthma Treatment Options&copd Treatment Options

In many cases, both lung diseases treatments are the same, such as Bronchodilators and inhalable steroids, but there are also a few treatment options that are specific to each condition.People with asthma may be encouraged to stay away from triggers or avoid going outdoors when pollen levels are high. In cases of people with severe asthma, a bronchial thermoplasty may be recommended. The procedure burns off some of the muscles in the airway, reducing their ability to constrict.

On the other hand, people with COPD may be encouraged to alter lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking, to help prevent any further damage. They may also be prescribed oxygen or pulmonary rehabilitation. In severe cases of COPD, procedures like lung volume reduction surgeries and lung transplants may be suggested.

Both Asthma and COPD are treatable diseases that will require some lifestyle changes. Staying informed on your options and taking care of your health is very important in managing lung diseases. For any further questions about these conditions and their treatments, click the link below!

Asthma Signs & Symptoms

People with asthma experience symptoms due to inflammation in the airways. They might only occur when you encounter an asthma trigger. Common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of asthma include:

  • Persistent or recurring coughing: which often occurs at night or early in the morning, although it can happen at any time. Coughing is a major feature of asthma, especially in children and can sometimes be the only sign of asthma.
  • Wheezing: is difficulty breathing accompanied by a whistling sound coming from your airways
  • Shortness of breath: gives you the feeling that you cant get enough air into your lungs, and may even find it difficult to eat, sleep or speak
  • Chest tightness: an unpleasant sensation of heaviness or pressure in the chest that can make it hard to breathe
  • Increased mucus production: is characterized by high levels of thick fluid or phlegm accumulating in your airways
  • Difficulty breathing while exercising: having trouble breathing while performing physical activities can be a sign of asthma
  • Losing Sleep: Being unable to sleep through the night because of breathing troubles

Q: Whats The Difference Between Asthma And Copd


Asthma occurs frequently in people with a family history of the disease and often begins in childhood. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness, and these symptoms flare up during an asthma attack. At other times, symptoms may fade or become minimal.

COPD is different and usually strikes later in life. Most people diagnosed with COPD either used to smoke, or still do. Some symptomssuch as chest tightness and coughingare similar to asthma. Other symptoms, such as mucus production, are distinct to COPD. Unlike asthma, symptoms rarely ever fade completely.

Who Can Get Asthma Or Copd



The most common risk factors for developing asthma is if you have a parent with asthma, or have had a severe respiratory infection as a child, or have an allergic condition, or have been exposed to certain chemical irritants or industrial dust in the workplace.


Risk factors for COPD include:

  • Exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Smokers with asthma 
  • Exposure to dust and chemicals at work
  • COPD develops slowly over the years, so most people are at least 40 years old when symptoms begin
  • A rare genetic disorder alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is the cause of some cases of COPD


Joint And Muscle Pain

Chronic pain in the joints and muscles is more common than you may think. According to WebMD, about one in three adults have experienced joint pain in the past 30 days and this only gets worse with age. Joint and muscle pain can be brought on by an injury or one of many chronic underlying conditions such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, gout, or bursitis.



One of the ways these issues can affect COPD patients, in particular, is through reduced mobility. COPD is considered a debilitating disease meaning it makes you weak and feeble. Osteoporosis, a condition that results in weak, fragile bones, can contribute to COPD symptoms like rib or chest pain.  


How To Tell If You Have Asthma

Asthma is a condition that happens due to inflammation of the airways, which causes difficulty in breathing. It can determine important aspects of daily life such as performing certain physical activities. Detecting this condition is essential to ge the appropriate treatment that reduces symptoms and allows the patient to lead a better quality of life. If you asking yourself how to tell if you have asthma, keep reading, because at oneHOWTO we explain everything step by step.

Before starting with the main signs that can show that you have asthma, it is important to know who has the highest risk of suffering from this condition. Although this is not necessarily conditional, asthma usually occurs commonly in people who have a family history of this condition, but also in those who suffer from diseases that can increase the sensitivity of the respiratory tract such as allergies, allergic rhinitis or eczema.

On the other hand, there are certain triggers that can increase the possibility of suffering from asthma in a high percentage, among them the most common are:

  • Living in an environment surrounded by animals, as most pets’ dander and coat can trigger asthma.
  • The presence of mites.
  • Being in an environment where there is a lot of pollution, pollen, tobacco smoke or chemicals that can affect breathing.
  • Environments full of mold and high in moisture.
  • People who have other respiratory infections.
  • People who suffer from stress.

The main symptoms of asthma are:

Managing Symptoms Exacerbations And Progression

Even though there is no cure for COPD, there are treatments to improve symptoms. If you take steps to quit smoking, to exercise, and to improve your diet, you can increase your life expectancy and have a better quality of life.

Avoiding exacerbations, which is when symptoms flare up or get worse, is a major part of slowing the progression of COPD, says Meredith McCormack, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Exacerbations can happen fast, within a matter of hours or days, according to the American Thoracic Society .

RELATED: What Your Loved Ones Need to Know About COPD

Exacerbations are often triggered by respiratory infections which could be viral or bacterial, says Dr. McCormack. They can also be triggered by exposures, like if someone has an increased exposure to pollution or secondhand smoke, she says.

In a review published in October 2017 in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the authors noted that severe exacerbations are associated with higher mortality, and the risk increases with each new exacerbation.

COPD exacerbations is one of the most important predictors of the progression of COPD, and a history of exacerbations is one of the most important predictors of future exacerbations, says McCormack. Thats part of why its so important to take steps to try to minimize the risk of exacerbations, she adds.

The following are signs that may indicate that a persons COPD is getting worse.

The Overlap Of Asthma And Copd

There is such a thing as overlap syndrome, known as asthma chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .

COPD patients are increasingly noted to have an asthma component in addition to their COPD. Surprisingly, 1 in 4 asthma patients smokes and is at risk for COPD, like any other smoker.

Some COPD patients demonstrate asthma-like reversibility on pulmonary lung function testing referred to as an “asthma component.” If reversibility is not present, no asthma component exists. The American Thoracic Society defines reversibility as a post-bronchodilator increase in FEV1 of at least 12% for both COPD and asthma. When reversibility is present, it is generally less in a COPD patient compared to a patient with only asthma.

Signs Your Copd Is Getting Worse

Changes in typical symptoms associated with the condition may be a sign of disease progression.

Frequent coughing or wheezing, excess mucus and shortness of breath are hallmark symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , the third leading cause of death in the United States. A person’s particular symptoms and their severity can be signs that the condition is worsening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , almost 16 million people in America have COPD, a classification that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

COPD can be early, moderate, severe, or very severe depending on your symptoms, the number of exacerbations youve had, and your lung function. In early COPD, a person may have chronic cough and phlegm but may not be aware they have reduced lung function; they sometimes dismiss their symptoms as a normal part of aging.

Symptoms are impossible to ignore in severe COPD. A person with severe COPD can get short of breath even while walking slowly or getting out of a chair.

Stage 3 Copd Symptoms

COPD symptoms at stage 3 are more serious and frequent than at the previous stages. You might also notice new symptoms you didn’t have before.


Here are some of the common symptoms associated with stage 3 COPD:

  • Worsening breathlessness
  • Feet or ankle swelling
  • Increased number of symptom exacerbations
  • FEV1 Value of 30-49% of normal


What you will likely notice most is that your symptoms are more debilitating and come more often than they did previously. As your symptoms add up you will need to pay even more attention to how your body feels and monitor your symptoms more carefully.


What Causes Asthma And Copd

How can you help yourself if you have COPD? For more ...


The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoke. COPD also affects people who inhale fumes from cooking fuel and heating in poorly ventilated homes.


When you have asthma, your airways react to different particles present in the environment. These are called asthma triggers. Exposure to these triggers causes asthma symptoms to worsen. Common asthma triggers include infections, pollen, dust, pet dander, and pollutants, and tobacco smoke.


Stage 4 Copd Overview

Your symptoms at stage 4 COPD may be severe and difficult to manage, but it does not mean it’s the end. There is no ticking timer or firm life expectancy at stage 4, and you can still live comfortably for many years.


The stigma and fear associated with this stage of the disease can be the most difficult thing to deal with, but it’s important to remember that every person and patient is different. Your quality of life depends greatly on having a healthy lifestyle, working with a good doctor, and keeping your spirit and optimism up.


COPD doesn’t have to define your life. If you keep hope, make healthy choices, and focus on your passions, then you are already winning the battle with your disease.


Similarities And Differences In Regular Standard Treatment Of Asthma And Copd

  • In both diseases the adequate treatment may reduce symptoms and number of exacerbations and improve the quality of life.

  • Treatment of asthma is characterized by suppression of inflammation.

  • Treatment of COPD is characterized by decreasing of symptoms.

The GOAL of treatment in ASTHMA is to: reduce inflammation and to achieve¬łtotal control . The GOAL of treatment in COPD is to: reduce symptoms, prevent exacerbations and decrease mortality . In both asthma and COPD almost the same drugs are used, but not in the same order and the same efficiency in treatment.

Copd And Aging: Everything You Need To Know

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the most prevalent lung conditions, affecting more than 328 million people around the world and an estimated 16 million people in the United States alone. 

Despite how common COPD is, its often overshadowed by other chronic illnesses like lung cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. A report published by the EMBO Journal found that, while COPD results in about 300,000 deaths per year nearly double that of lung cancer it received less than a third of the funding.


While the inequity in COPD research funding can only be addressed through political and social advocacy, healthy lifestyle choices remain the best way to prevent and treat COPD. And in order to make healthy lifestyle choices, you need to stay educated about how your lungs work. There are a lot of things to consider depending on what stage of your life youre in and whether or not youve already been diagnosed with COPD.


In this post, were going to address some key facts about aging and how it affects the prognosis of people with COPD and those who are at risk of contracting COPD. In the meantime, if you are interested in getting tested for COPD, be sure to consult your doctor immediately to start discussing your symptoms.


How Are They Treated


Theres no permanent cure for COPD. If you have COPD, there are two things you can do that can help you live longer:

  • Quit smoking or dont start smoking.
  • If your oxygen level is already low at rest, use long-term supplemental oxygen with a portable tank.

Being referred to and enrolling in pulmonary rehabilitation helps a great deal with symptoms and confidence when you have COPD. It involves a structured program of exercise, education, and peer support.

Medications for COPD can help you feel better and reduce how often you have exacerbations. The medications you take are based on how serious your symptoms are and how often you have them. Common medications include:

If you have a COPD exacerbation, treatment is more aggressive than day-to-day management and includes:

  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Oral or intravenous antibiotics
  • Assistance with breathing from a ventilator mask and machine called BiPAP

Rarely, lung surgery may be used for severe COPD. Surgery can include removing severely damaged parts of your lung or in extreme cases, a lung transplant. 


Childhood asthma sometimes goes away by itself. But asthma that starts in adulthood usually does not go away.

Avoiding triggers is a good general strategy to limit your asthma symptoms. Although smoking may not be the primary cause of asthma in most people, smoking makes asthma symptoms worse. So people with asthma should quit smoking or not start.

Maintenance medications for adults include:

Is It Asthma Or Copd

A spirometry test, or pulmonary function test, can measure how well the lungs work. Individuals blow into the device as hard and as long as they can, providing information about how much air the lungs take in and expel. Many doctors use spirometry tests to measure airway problems associated with COPD and asthma.

Factors doctors look at when weighing a diagnosis with COPD or asthma include:

  • A history of smoking: Most people with COPD are or were smokers.
  • Age: Asthma often appears in childhood. If breathing difficulties occur after the age of 40, doctors are more likely to diagnose COPD.
  • Symptoms: Coughing in the morning, heavy phlegm, and progressively getting worse suggest COPD. Recurring attacks, particularly if accompanied by allergies or eczema, suggest asthma.
  • Family history: Asthma is more likely to run in families.
  • Symptom triggers: People with COPD may have symptoms when they are active or at rest, without a known trigger. Asthma attacks may be caused by physical activity or something in the environment.
  • Onset of symptoms: COPD tends to get worse over time, while asthma attacks come on suddenly.
  • Responsiveness to treatment: Asthma tends to respond better to quick acting rescue inhalers than COPD does.

Diagnosis with either condition doesnt rule out developing another breathing disorder, so patients should report all symptoms to their doctor.


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