Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long- term poor airflow. The main symptoms include shortness of breath and cough with sputum production. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it typically worsens over time. .. Long- term treatment with steroid tablets is associated with significant side. Read medical definition of COPD. home > lungs center > lungs a-z list > medterms medical dictionary a-z list > copd definition. Long- term exposure to chemical irritants can also lead to COPD. It's a disease that takes a long time to develop. Diagnosis usually involves. Your doctor can recommend appropriate products or support services. Typically, the finding of persistent airflow limitation on pulmonary function testing and the absence of radiographic features of heart failure or interstitial lung disease direct the clinician to a narrower differential of COPD, chronic obstructive asthma, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, constrictive bronchiolitis, and diffuse panbronchiolitis [ 7 ]. Those patients who follow the exercises prescribed for them often find they can lead more active lives than formerly. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The COPD assessment test: Overall, having COPD weakens your immune system and decreases your ability to fight off infection. Medications can reduce symptoms and cut down on flare-ups. Controlled deep breathing patterns are especially helpful in emptying the lungs and providing adequate ventilation. In the United States, COPD is responsible for over ,00 hospital admissions per year and over 1. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.