Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

Left Rail Arrow
Left Rail Arrow

Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

Left Rail Arrow

Participating Pfizer brands include:

Respiratory conditions

What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term lung disease that makes it difficult for air to move into and out of the lungs.

COPD is used to describe a few lung diseases with similar symptoms that make breathing difficult: the most common are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

In the majority of cases, COPD is caused by cigarette smoking. Shortness of breath (or a “need for air”), increased mucous and coughing are symptoms that are frequently seen in people with COPD. Some people even say that it feels like they’re breathing through a straw.

COPD is a disease that progresses slowly. And treating it early can greatly improve symptoms, even in the very early stages of the disease.

What are the common signs and symptoms of COPD?

COPD is more than a smoker’s cough. It is a chronic disease with symptoms that increase in severity over time. The main symptoms of COPD are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A cough that lasts for more than 3 months
  • Weight loss (even though not trying)
  • Coughing up a lot of clear and thick mucus (phlegm)
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling tired (fatigue)
  • Frequent lung infections (colds, flu, etc.)

There are ways to measure to what degree COPD affects regular airflow in the lungs. A simple spirometry test can be used to determine the extent of airway obstruction by measuring how much air can be moved out of the lungs.

What causes COPD?

  • Many people think common COPD symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness are just a normal part of getting older, but this is not the case.
  • Cigarette smoking is the most important cause of COPD by far, as it is responsible for about 90% of cases. The longer someone smokes, the greater their chances of developing COPD. Smoking pipes or cigars can also lead to COPD.
  • Other things that can cause COPD are:
    • Second-hand smoke
    • Air pollution at work and in the environment
    • Having repeated chest infections during childhood
    • A rare genetic disorder called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Can COPD be prevented?

Most of the time, COPD can be prevented. Since most cases of COPD are caused by smoking, people can prevent COPD by not smoking. Smokers can reduce their chance of getting COPD by quitting as soon as possible – it’s never too late to quit.

Living with COPD: taking charge of your own care

If you are living with COPD, there are many things you can do to live as long, as active and as comfortable a life as possible.

Taking an active interest in managing COPD is the first step in taking charge of your health. Whether you are in the early or later stages of COPD, there are steps you can take to prevent further lung damage and make you feel better.

  • Quitting smoking: the single most important thing you can do to help yourself.
  • Caring for yourself: stay positive, keep moving and eat well.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation (also called respiratory rehabilitation): get the most out of every breath.

Want more information and support? Search “COPD” in Find Support for organizations in your area.

What is COPD?
What is sinusitis?
What is sinusitis?

Simply put, sinusitis is the swelling of the lining in your sinuses....

Asthma: causes, symptoms and managing asthma attacks
Asthma: causes, symptoms and managing asthma attacks

Approximately 2.5 million Canadians have asthma — a chronic (...

Tips for cooking with kids and grandkids
Tips for cooking with kids and grandkids

Want to whip up some fun with your kids or grandkids? Look no further...

Learning disabilities in children — facts and tips
Learning disabilities in children — facts and tips

One in ten Canadians has a learning disability and it's the top...

Dating tips for singles over 50
Dating tips for singles over 50

Unlike your younger years, it’s not uncommon for singles over...

The visible effects of smoking
The visible effects of smoking

Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, which is highly addictive and one of...

Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)

For both men and women, pelvic floor exercises (or Kegel exercises)...

Quick guide to healthy fats
Quick guide to healthy fats

Over the years, fats have gotten a bad reputation. Today, we know...

How healthy is your brain? (interactive game)
How healthy is your brain? (interactive game)

Memory, recognition, comprehension, logic — your brain is a...

Ready. Set. Remember! (Interactive game)
Ready. Set. Remember! (Interactive game)

You’ve heard it before: you need to exercise to keep your...

Your relationship check-up (quiz)
Your relationship check-up (quiz)

While there aren't any hard-and-fast rules about what makes a...

Find great activities your family can enjoy (interactive)
Find great activities your family can enjoy (interactive)

Without doubt, families are busier than ever before but that doesn...

Sautéed spring vegetables and steamed fish
Sautéed spring vegetables and steamed fish

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 10 min...

Glazed salmon fillet with couscous and peas
Glazed salmon fillet with couscous and peas

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 15 min...

Sautéed chicken breast with white rice and sugar snap peas
Sautéed chicken breast with white rice and sugar snap peas

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 10 min...

Vegetable spring rolls in rice paper (Vietnam)
Vegetable spring rolls in rice paper (Vietnam)

Makes 8 servings

 

Prep time: 25 min...

Sliced chicken with stir-fry vegetables
Sliced chicken with stir-fry vegetables

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 20 min...

Grilled salmon fillet with rice and vegetables
Grilled salmon fillet with rice and vegetables

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 20 min

Cooking time:...

Grilled salmon kebabs with green beans
Grilled salmon kebabs with green beans

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 25 min...

Watermelon slices with kiwi and pecans
Watermelon slices with kiwi and pecans

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 5 min Difficulty: Easy Cannot...

Mixed berries and mint sponge cake roll
Mixed berries and mint sponge cake roll

Makes 8 servings

Prep time: 25 min Cooking time: 10 min...

Banana crepes
Banana crepes

Makes 6 servings (2 crepes per serving)

Prep time: 20 min...