How do you get COPD?

Unlike many other breathing problems, you’re not born with COPD. So, it’s completely possible for you to protect yourself against it. It’s something that you suffer from because you have been exposed to some factor that causes COPD, for extended periods of time.

Smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Most people with COPD, have at least some history of smoking. Even people who do not smoke can suffer if they keep breathing in someone else's smoke However, not all smokers get COPD. COPD can also occur in people who have long term exposure to lung irritants either at home or at workplace. Some of these harmful lung irritants include fumes from cooking stoves ("chula") or room heaters ("sigri").Individuals who have worked for many years in places where the air is very dusty, smoky or polluted like coal mines and industries such as cement, textiles, chemicals and electro-plating of jewellery are also at risk of COPD. In rare cases, a person who has never smoked or had long-term exposure to lung irritants can get COPD due to a genetic disorder that he/she is born with

Over time, breathing in tobacco smoke or other harmful particles irritates the airways and affects the lungs’ stretchy fibres.

COPD is most common in people older than 40, because it usually takes years for the lung damage to cause Symptoms of COPD.

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