Medical Terminology Made Simple: COPD

Barry Lenson

Medical Terminology Made Simple: COPD

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As a service to people who are thinking of entering the medical and medical support professions, StraighterLine is continuing the series of short posts on medical terminology. Each post will define one medical term.

Today’s Medical term is . . . COPD

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a very serious and incurable condition that is affecting a growing number of American adults every year. Symptoms include shortness of breath (especially after exercise), a tendency to cough up a lot of mucus, and heightened susceptibility to colds and pneumonia.

Research indicates that smokers are more likely to contract the disease than other people are. It is usually diagnosed by simple tests using machines that measure the efficiency of a patient’s lungs.

Although the condition cannot be cured, many patients report improvement if they stop smoking, rest, and begin a program of moderate exercise. In addition, a growing number of medications are now being used to help reduce symptoms and improve the quality of sufferers’ lives.

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