Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is one of the most common lung conditions, affecting more than 65 million people worldwide. Smoking tobacco, air pollution, and genetic predisposition are the primary causes of COPD. The condition can significantly shorten one's lifespan but, unfortunately, may be asymptomatic in the early stages. In some cases, symptoms do not show up until the lungs are already damaged.
People with COPD usually develop a persistent cough that does not subside for weeks, months, or years. The cough is similar to a smoker's cough, and many long-term smokers assume the symptom is simply a byproduct of their habit. This can lead to delayed diagnoses.
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