COPD is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD damages the airways in your lungs, and leads to shortness of breath, impacting your work, exercise, sleep and other everyday activities.
Many people don’t experience symptoms of COPD until later stages of the disease. Symptoms include chronic cough, shortness of breath while doing everyday activities, frequent respiratory infections, blueness of the lips or fingernail beds, fatigue, and wheezing.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), American Lung Association, http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/