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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Difference Between Emphysema and Bronchitis



i have been suffering from emphysima for the past 7 yrs. First i had copd then after 6 months i got emphysema. i work full time as a carer . i have inhalers 4 kinds which i do not do all the time cos i hate them . but this past year i seem to be 1 month if i do some walking in the distance (a block) i get breathless and 1 month really bad and end up always having to take steriods (prednisolone) now this past week i got ill again from it and my doctor tried not to give me the steriods but i got worse and had to have the steriods and he said now i have bronchitis . can u tell me the difference plz and how much life do i have to live thx ? im, a 47 yr old lady used to smoke alot but now havent been smoking fot the past 7 yrs


Thank you for visiting NetWellness and for your question. The definition of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease state characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two types of presentations of COPD.


Emphysema means lung tissue has been destroyed. Chronic bronchitis means there is increased inflammation in the lungs. Inhalers are used to decrease the amount of inflammation in the lungs and help to limit the amount of prednisone people need over time. The most important therapy for COPD is to quit smoking. Pulmonary rehabilitation can help improve your symptoms quality of life. A lung specialist may be able to help answer your questions. In addition, please visit our page on stages of COPD to answer your question about life expectancy.

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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