Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term for a group of lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD have decreased airflow in and out of the lungs, which makes it hard to breathe. The airways also can get clogged with thick mucus. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of COPD.

Although there is no cure for COPD, you can slow its progress. Following your treatment plan and taking care of yourself can help you feel better and live longer.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Review these printable fliers and tools from the American Thoracic Society and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to learn more about COPD.

You can also learn more by watching these videos from the American Lung Association, National Jewish Health and the COPD Foundation.