Home > Medical > COPD > FAQs FAQs All sections in COPD » About COPD » COPD and Medication » FAQs » Living with COPD » COPD News » Smoking » The Lungs Does COPD have clear symptoms? In the early stages, often not. Many people think they are merely unfit, or have a bad cough. Coughing and being out of breath could be early symptoms of COPD. How is COPD diagnosed? The diagnosis of COPD is usually confirmed by a lung function measurement. How many smokers develop COPD? About 15% of smokers go on to develop COPD. Subscribe to the Newsletter » Join us on Facebook » Ask Stop Smoking Expert » Ask CyberDoc » Anti-Tobacco Art Is COPD irreversible? Some of the damage may be irreversible. So where does asthma fit into all of this? Asthma refers to wheezing and a chronic inflammation in the lungs that is not directly related to smoking. What is chronic bronchitis? Chronic bronchitis refers to the malfunctioning of the bronchial tubes, causing the patient to have excessive mucus in the lung and the only way to get rid of it is to cough. What is emphysema? Emphysema refers to the destruction of the lung alveoli by smoking. Apart from smoking, what are the other risk factors for COPD? Other risk factors include air pollution, genetic causes and childhood infections. But these risk factors are low in comparison to smoking. What does COPD stand for? It stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD: what is it? COPD is a collective name for a spectrum of diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. load more articles advertisement From our sponsors WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher! Constipation in women SA's old diesel vehicles continue to fuel allergies Complete our allergy survey and stand a chance to win R 1000!