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Is Asthma And Copd The Same Thing

Can Asthma Lead To Copd Later

Asthma and COPD: Same or Different?

Not everyone with asthma goes on to develop COPD. However, having asthma as a child or younger adult can affect how well your lungs develop, and that can increase your chances of having COPD when youre older. One recent study reported that over one in 10 children with persistent asthma went on to have COPD as a young adult.

This means that if you have asthma, its even more important that you dont smoke. Quitting will help to lower your chance of developing COPD in later life as well.Learn more about:

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.

How Emphysema Relates To Copd

Everyone whos diagnosed with emphysema is said to have COPD. However, its possible to be diagnosed with COPD and not have emphysema. A person can receive a COPD diagnosis while only having chronic bronchitis, for instance.

Emphysema is usually the direct result of years of smoking cigarettes. Its symptoms tend to affect people who are middle-aged or older. Chronic bronchitis, which can occur earlier or later in life, can also be caused by tobacco smoking.

Inflammatory Cells In Copd

Neutrophils are present in sputum of smokers but increased in COPD and related to disease severity. They may be important in mucus hypersecretion and through release of proteases. Macrophages: big numbers are in airway lumen, lung parenchyma, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. They produce increased inflammatory mediators and proteases and may show defective phagocytosis. T lymphocytes: both CD4+ and CD8+ cells are increased in the airway wall and lung parenchyma, with big CD8+/CD4+ ratio. Increased is the number of CD8+ T cells and Th1 cells which secrete interferon- and express the chemokine receptor CXCR3. CD8+ cells may be cytotoxic to alveolar cells. B lymphocytes: are increased in peripheral airways and within lymphoid follicles, possibly as a response to colonization and infection. Eosinophils: increased eosinophil proteins in sputum and eosinophils in airway wall during exacerbations. Epithelial cells: May be activated by cigarette smoke to produce inflammatory mediators .

Surgical Treatment For Copd

Asthma vs. COPD: What

If medical treatment does not alleviate the symptoms of COPD, or symptoms and exacerbations increase, surgery may be an option. However, in order to be a candidate for surgery, there are specific criteria. These include not being a current smoker, participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program, and being strong enough to receive surgery.

There are two types of surgery performed for COPD, Lung Volume Reduction Surgery and Bullectomy.

  • Lung Volume Reduction Surgery involves removing parts of the lung that are most affected by COPD. Removal of lung tissue seems counterintuitive, but it allows the remaining, healthy parts of the lung function more efficiently.
  • Bullectomy involves the removal of bullae from the lungs. Bullae are large air sacs in the lungs that form when a large number of alveoli are destroyed by COPD. These air sacs interfere with breathing.

If damage to the lungs is too severe or surgery does not alleviate symptoms, a doctor may recommend a lung transplant.

Are The Symptoms Of Asthma And Copd The Same

Asthma and COPD can both cause wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and chronic cough. However, the frequency and predominating symptoms in asthma and COPD are different. With COPD, you are more likely to experience a morning cough, increased amounts of sputum, and persistent symptoms. If you have asthma, you are more likely to experience symptoms in episodes and/or at night. Additionally, asthma symptoms are likely to occur after exposure to specific triggers.

Can Asthma Develop Into Copd

On occasion, some people with asthma have developed COPD. According to the American Lung Association, children who have severe asthma are more likely to develop COPD in adulthood than children who experience mild asthma.

Studies show that more than 40 percent of children diagnosed with severe asthma developed COPD by age 50; these metrics may indicate a link between the disorders.

Research is ongoing, and there is also speculation that children with severe asthma dont experience a faster decline in lung function in later adulthood, but perhaps lung development was compromised in early childhood. If this is true, it suggests that COPD can be prevented with better childhood asthma treatment.

Asthma And Copd: What’s The Difference And Is There A Link

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are lung diseases. Both cause swelling in your airways that makes it hard to breathe.

With asthma, the swelling is often triggered by something youâre allergic to, like pollen or mold, or by physical activity. COPD is the name given to a group of lung diseases that include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Emphysema happens when the tiny sacs in your lungs are damaged. Chronic bronchitis is when the tubes that carry air to your lungs get inflamed. Smoking is the most common cause of those conditions .

Asthma gets better. Symptoms can come and go, and you may be symptom-free for a long time. With COPD, symptoms are constant and get worse over time, even with treatment.

Do Copd And Emphysema Have Different Causes

Long Case Presentation : COPD VS ASTHMA

Usually, COPD and emphysema can develop for the same reasons. The most common causes of all forms of COPD is cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.

Other causes of emphysema can include alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency and inhaling toxic substances. Bronchiectasis may also have additional causes. It can develop as a result of certain inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Can You Have Asthma And Copd At The Same Time

Both of these diseases affect airflow limitation, inflammation, and tissue remodeling, and it is possible to have both asthma and COPD at the same time. Older patients may have features of both diseases, leading to an overlap of the two conditions.

Many people who have asthma and COPD will need to continue treatment to reduce the inflammation of their asthma, as well as manage the symptoms of their COPD to retain as much lung function as possible.

As you age, the likelihood of overlap between these two diseases increases. Your physician will be able to confirm if you have both disorders and will be able to help you with treatment.

The Differences Between Copd And Asthma

editorial processSanja Jelic, MDMedical Review Board

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are both respiratory diseases involving chronic inflammation that leads to airflow obstruction. While they share similar symptoms, their causes and treatments differ. In some cases, asthma and COPD may overlap in what is termed asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, or ACOS.

However, the frequency and predominating symptoms in asthma and COPD are different. With COPD, you are more likely to experience a morning cough, increased amounts of sputum, and persistent symptoms. If you have asthma, you are more likely to experience episodic symptoms during and/or at night.

Another difference between asthma and COPD is the intermittent symptoms seen with asthma versus the chronic, progressive symptoms seen in COPD. Asthma symptoms are likely to occur after exposure to specific triggers, whereas COPD symptoms occur more regularly.

Copd Myth 1: A Copd Diagnosis Is A Death Sentence

People live a long time with COPD, Dr. Adams says. Especially now that we have many therapies that improve your chances of living longer with COPD. COPD never goes away, and its a progressive disease; but its one that can be managed, she adds. It requires that you do some things that may be really tough, like quitting smoking and getting plenty of exercise. But if you work closely with your healthcare team and follow your treatment plan, youll find that COPD is neither a death sentence nor a daily struggle.

RELATED: 9 Tips to Help Slow the Progression of COPD

Know About Asthmatic Bronchitis

Too much oxygen can kill you

Asthma and bronchitis are defined as two inflammatory airway diseases. While they have distinct differences, as outlined above, asthma and acute bronchitis can occur together. This is known as asthmatic bronchitis.

A number of factors can contribute to asthmatic bronchitis. What triggers the symptoms in one person may be different than what causes a flare-up in another; however, the following are the most common factors:

  • Pollution
  • Weather
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Emotions

As you may have guessed, the symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are a combination of asthma and bronchitis. They include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, tightness in chest and the production of phlegm.

Due to a virus or bacteria bronchitis can be contagious, however chronic asthmatic bronchitis is not contagious.

Respiratory diseases affect people of all ages- children, teens, adults and seniors. Most of these diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis and COPD, are chronic and all have a significant impact on the individual with the disease, as well as on family, the community and the health care system. Its in everyones interest to gain a better understanding of respiratory ailments, not only so current patients can breathe easier, but so that we can prevent future generations from suffering.

Related Reading:

Emphysema Vs Copd: Similarities And Differences

In some cases, there are a few differences between COPD and emphysema. Depending on the form of COPD a person has, symptoms may vary a little.

For example, people with chronic bronchitis might have symptoms that differ slightly from people that have emphysema. Both conditions are classified as COPD, but symptoms may vary a little.

But there are more similarities than differences between emphysema and COPD. For instance, the cause is often the same. Typically, COPD and emphysema occur due to damage to the airways, which makes breathing progressively more difficult.

Is It Asthma Copd Or Both

Both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, make breathing difficult. In fact, they share many similarities. However, they are different lung diseases. Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome is diagnosed when you have symptoms of both asthma and COPD. ACOS is not a separate disease, but rather a way for doctors to recognize the mix of symptoms and select a treatment plan that is most appropriate for you.

Copd Vs Asthma: What Is The Difference

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma are both chronic lung diseases. The most common cause of COPD is smoking, while asthma is an inflammatory response by the body. Symptoms of COPD worsen over time, but they can be treated and managed with drugs and other therapies. There is no cure for COPD. Some forms of asthma can be reversible with medication, drug therapies, and lifestyle changes. Both conditions can be life threatening.

It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

Distinguishing Between ASTHMA and COPD part 1

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma are often mistaken for one another. Thats understandable. These two lung diseases share some of the same symptoms: wheezing, chronic coughing and shortness of breath.

To further cloud the distinction, about 40 percent of people who have COPD also have asthma. Asthma and COPD share some of the same risk factors such as smoking tobacco, exposure to air pollutants at home and work, genetics and respiratory infections. And asthma is considered a risk factor that increases the chances of developing COPD.

But asthma and COPD are two distinct diseases. Here are two distinct differences. 

  • Age at diagnosis: Asthma, in most cases, is diagnosed in childhood. COPD symptoms usually first appear after the age of 40 and, in most cases, among current or former smokers.
  • Disease triggers: Asthma is usually triggered by exposure to allergens, cold air and exercise. COPD is primarily aggravated by respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia and the flu, and exposure to environmental pollutants.

A third difference is that COPD ranks high in third place on the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions list of leading causes of death, after heart disease and cancer.The good news is that with proper treatment, such as quitting smoking, airway-opening medications and avoidance of irritants and allergens, people with asthma and COPD can live more comfortably.

What Is The Life Expectancy For Copd Vs Emphysema Are They Fatal

The life expectancy can be estimated for COPD/emphysema by the BODE index previously mentioned. However, it is not possible to determine accurate life expectancy for these patients because of so many variables that may change. Nonetheless, types 3- 4 COPD/emphysema puts you at risk for many serious or fatal complications like pneumonia or heart failure. For this reason, some doctors consider types 3-4 COPD/emphysema to be a life threatening disease.

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!

Airflow Restriction: Reversible Or Permanent

  • Asthma treatment generally returns lung function to normal or near-normal and you should not have many asthma symptoms between asthma exacerbations. Airflow restriction in asthma is generally considered reversible, though some people who have severe asthma develop irreversible damage.
  • Even with COPD treatment, airflow restriction and lung function will likely not return to normal or may only partially improveeven with smoking cessation and bronchodilator usage.

Myth 3: Copd Is The Same Thing As Asthma

Difference between copd and asthma

While both are inflammatory conditions that cause coughing and wheezingasthma and COPD are very different diseases, Adams says. About 15 percent of people can have both asthma and COPD, she notes. Dr. Carl agrees. Its not uncommon for people with COPD to also have some degree of asthma. While asthma can develop at any age, most people get asthma as children or teens. COPD develops slowly over time, and most people are 40 or older when symptoms become noticeable.

Asthma can flare if youre exposed to allergens such as dust, pollen, or pet dander, but you can be symptom-free between episodes. People with COPD experience flares or exacerbations when they get a cold or an upper respiratory infection or are exposed to smoke or other lung irritants. Asthma is treated with long-term medications to reduce airway inflammation and quick-relief or rescue bronchodilators, as needed, for symptoms such as wheezing. COPD patients need to be on long-lasting inhalers as opposed to rescue medications, Adams says. Along with bronchodilators to widen the airways, some with COPD patients may benefit from anti-inflammatory drugs, such as steroids or anticholinergic agents to decrease mucus secretion and antibiotics to treat interval infections, adds Carl.

RELATED: Your Breathe-Better Checklist for COPD Flares

What Is The Difference Between Asthma And Copd

Asthma is a respiratory disease affecting the bronchial tubes, or airways, making them sensitive to allergens or irritants, both of which can bring on an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, it is hard to breathe, and wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness may occur. While COPD can also cause these symptoms, its more likely to experience a consistent cough with phlegm. 

Unlike asthma, COPD is a chronic condition caused by damage to the lungs over time, most often from smoking, and it is irreversible. With asthma, breathing returns to normal after an attack, but COPD symptoms are more regular. Usually, COPD develops in people after age 40 and becomes a chronic disease of lung function while asthma may develop in people of almost any age.

Q&a: When Youre Diagnosed With Both Asthma And Copd

When youre diagnosed with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , it can be difficult to breathe. But did you know that about 15% to 55% of adults with one of these lung diseases actually qualify for a dual diagnosis?

This dual diagnosis is called asthma-COPD overlap syndrome . People at risk for ACOS are typically those with asthma who smoke, but healthcare providers also see cases in those who dont use tobacco. The right diagnosis is important with lung conditions, and education is key to understanding treatment options. To learn more about ACOS, read the answers to some common questions below.

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.

Who Can Get Asthma Or Copd

Bronchial Asthma & 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

Difference Between Asthma And Bronchitis

About 12 million people in the United States suffer from bronchitis every year. It is characterized by irritation of the mucous membranes lining the airways. Although there are similarities between asthma and bronchitis, they really arent the same disease and therefore require different treatments.

During an asthma attack you will often find that in addition to having difficulty breathing, people will also wheeze. Many sufferers have also reported tightness in the chest. In the case of bronchitis, there is also normally a hacking cough. It can be with or without phlegm. Chronic bronchitis involves a persistent phlegm-producing cough.

Chronic bronchitis can be diagnosed with a pulmonary function test. This will enable doctors to check airflow in the lungs. A chest x-ray can also be taken. Unfortunately, diagnosing asthma is more complex. It involves testing to check airway obstruction and a patients ability to exhale under various conditions.

While asthma treatment focuses on limiting exposure to triggers and controlling inflammation, bronchitis treatment includes a number of different strategies. The flu vaccine, anti-inflammation treatments, antibiotics, and bronchodilators to open airways could be applied. There are also treatments that focus on helping to clear excess mucus.

How Are They Diagnosed

Diagnosing COPD or asthma starts with a comprehensive evaluation of your history. A provider will take into account factors such as:

  • Your symptoms and what triggers them
  • Whether you smoke
  • The health of your family members
  • Your exposure to substances at home or the workplace

Your doctor will also perform a physical exam, which includes:

  • Checking your vital signs, including your oxygen level
  • Listening to your lungs with a stethoscope to detect wheezing or other signs of lung disease
  • Looking for physical signs of other potential causes of symptoms

However, the history and physical exam are often not enough to diagnose you with COPD or asthma. Your provider will probably want to do a few more tests before they make a diagnosis.

The most useful to test to figure out if you have asthma or COPD is called spirometry. This test measures how much air you can breathe in and out of your lungs and how fast you can do it. You may be asked to do the test before and after taking an inhaled medication to see how your lungs respond. Your results are then compared to normal ranges based on your age, height, and sex.

Chest X-ray or computed tomography scans are also common tests if you have trouble breathing. While the tests can show signs of pneumonia and other lung problems, they cant determine for certain whether you have COPD or asthma. 

Airway Remodelling And The Overlap Syndrome

There is also increased airway wall remodelling in the overlap syndrome, with increased bronchial wall thickening on high resolution CT . Increased thickness of the airway wall is an important feature leading to airway obstruction in most airway diseases. In asthma, this is due to inflammation, subepithelial fibrosis and increased thickness of the smooth muscle. There is also increased thickness of the airway wall in COPD, which is not as prominent as in asthma, but involves the same structures of the epithelium, reticular basement membrane, airway smooth muscle and mucous glands. There is also evidence of remodelling, fibrosis and inflammation in these structures. The increased smooth muscle reported in COPD is seen in some but not all studies. Increased thickness of the airway epithelium and goblet cell hyperplasia are features of the remodelled airway in both asthma and COPD. Similarly, increased airway wall fibrosis is reported in both asthma and COPD. Thus when considering the pathological changes within the airways that are associated with asthma and COPD, there is similarity in terms of structures that are remodelled, but differences in the degree of changes in specific structures.

Inflammatory Mediators Involved In Asthma

Whatâs the Difference Between COPD and Asthma?

Chemokines are important in the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the airways and are mainly expressed in airway epithelial cells . Eotaxin is selective for eosinophils, whereas thymus and activationregulated chemokines and macrophage-derived chemokines recruit Th2 cells . Cysteinyl leukotrienes are potent bronchoconstrictors and proinflammatory mediators mainly derived from mast cells and eosinophils . Cytokines orchestrate the inflammatory response in asthma. Key cytokines include IL-1 and TNF, and GM-CSF. Th2-derived cytokines include IL-5, which is required for eosinophil differentiation and survival; IL-4, which is important for Th2 cell differentiation; and IL-13, needed for IgE formation . Histamine is released from mast cells and contributes to bronchoconstriction and inflammation . Nitric oxide , a potent vasodilator, is produced from syntheses in airway epithelial cells . Exhaled NO is increasingly being used to monitor the effectiveness of asthma treatment . Prostaglandin D2 is a bronchoconstrictor derived predominantly from mast cells and is involved in Th2 cell recruitment to the airways .

Airway structural cells involved in the pathogenesis of asthma are: airway epithelial cells, airway smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and myofibroblasts and airway nerves .


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