ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lung disease. Computer artwork of alveoli (tiny air sacs, round) covered in mucus, representing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is the name for a number of lung diseases occurring together. The two most common are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The airways (bronchioles, green tubes) of the lung become inflamed and narrowed, and mucus secretion increases, obstructing airflow to the alveoli, the site of gaseous exchange. Symptoms include a persistent cough and breathlessness. The main cause of COPD is cigarette smoke. Treatment is with bronchodilator drugs and the cessation of smoking. COPD often leads to respiratory failure and death.
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