What are some causes and symptoms of COPD?

COPD causes

The primary cause of COPD is prolonged exposure to irritants that damage the lungs. Some additional causes of COPD may include:


Smoking—the largest contributing factor for developing COPD

Air pollution

Environmental exposure (chemicals, air pollution, secondhand smoke)


Genetic factors (specifically alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency)

COPD symptoms

At first, COPD symptoms may be mild, but COPD damage gets worse over time. Some symptoms of COPD are:


Persistent coughing, sometimes called "smoker's cough"

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath

Wheezing and tightness in the chest when breathing

Wheezing and tightness in the chest when breathing

Mucus in the lungs

Excess production of mucus in the lungs

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