COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is an umbrella term for the main conditions Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. These conditions make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have been narrowed.
The most common symptoms experienced with COPD are breathlessness on activity leading to increased difficulty exercising , wheeze and cough with or without sputum.
Bronchiectasis is a condition which results in widening of the airways making it more difficult for them to clear mucus effectively. This can lead to increased susceptibility to chest infections and further risk of inflammation and scarring as a result.
The most common symptom is a regular cough productive of sputum. Tiredness and fatigue are also common.
Interstitial Lung Disease
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) is a term used to describe a large group of diseases which affect the 'interstitium' of the lungs. The interstitium is the tissue that supports the air sacs in the lungs. ILD may involve scarring, inflammation or a combination of both, leading to stiffness and restriction of lung expansion.
The most common symptom is progressive breathlessness initially on activity, but as the disease progresses, this can occur at rest.
Many people also suffer with a dry cough.
Breathing Pattern Disorder
This describes an abnormal breathing pattern that can be present with or without underlying respiratory disease.
Symptoms can be varied and may include :
inability to take a satisfying breath in
a feeling of restriction around the chest/throat
tingling of fingers/toes
frequent yawning, throat clearing, sighing and dry cough may also be associated with this condition.
A number of factors can contribute to a chronic cough including underlying respiratory or cardiac disease, sinus problems, acid reflux and certain medications.
The cough may be productive of sputum or dry and is usually persistent in nature and difficult to control.