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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Lung Capacity Improvement



If diagnosed with COPD, is it possible to improve lung function if smoking is stopped and breathing exercises done?


Thank you for visiting NetWellness and for your question. Smoking cessation is the most important treatment for people with COPD. This is because smoking continues to cause damage to the lungs and also causes damage to other organs. This can lead to heart disease, cancer, or a stroke. 

As we age, we all lose some lung function over time. Smoking greatly accelerates the loss of lung function. With smoking cessation, the loss of lung function returns to what is normal with the aging process. So, you may not be able increase your lung function, but you can greatly improve your health and well-being. 

In addition, smoking cessation and oxygen therapy are the only treatments known to prolong survival in emphysema. 

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Response by:

Michael E Ezzie, MD Michael E Ezzie, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University