Phone 212-263-7951 Fax 212-263-0462
Francis V. Adams, M.D.
Francis V. Adams, M.D.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition that makes it difficult to breathe because air does not flow easily out of the lungs. If you have difficulty breathing "used" air out of your lungs, not enough space is left for oxygen-rich air to enter your lungs.

The most common long-term problems that cause the permanent airflow difficulties are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD may include various forms of these conditions. Although a person may have either chronic bronchitis or emphysema, most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions.
recommended reading
These articles provide in-depth information and are written to help you make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for COPD
Oxygen Treatment for COPD
Quitting Smoking
Being A Caregiver—when a loved one has COPD

Many people with advanced COPD reach a point at which they need the help of a caregiver to accomplish tasks they can no longer manage alone. Family caregivers may be spouses, adult children or other relatives–or they may be good friends or long-time companions. In some cases, family caregivers live with the patient. Many caregivers, however, do not - and rely on friends, neighbors, and paid help to assist with care for a loved one. Learn more about your role as a caregiver:

Living with Advanced Lung Disease: A Guide for Family Caregivers

Caregiver Tips

action sets
Action Sets are designed to help you take an active role in managing a health condition. Action Sets provide the tools and information you can use in the day-to-day management of your health conditions.
Avoiding weight loss when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Eating well when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Exercises for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Using a metered-dose inhaler (MDI)
tests & procedures

You doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate your condition.

Arterial Blood Gases
Chest X-Ray
Exercise Electrocardiography
History and Physical Examination for COPD
Lung Function Tests
Sputum Culture

For other tests and diagnostic procedures use the section of this site called Medical Tests A to Z .

Influenza Virus Vaccine
Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (Pneumovax)
Acute Bronchitis
End-of-Life Care
Choosing a Health Care Agent
Grief and Grieving
Hospice Care

Writing an Advance Directive

medication center
medication assistance

This section provides you with an alphabetical listing of more than 1,000 medications, including prescription drugs and those you can purchase over-the-counter. Just "click on" your medications to learn what they are used for, how to take them, special precautions, and some of the possible side effects. You can choose your medication by brand name or generic name.

Medications A-Z

If you are having difficulty paying for your medications you may qualify for financial assistance or free medications. Visit the Medication Assistance Center to learn about available medication and insurance programs.

Don't let financial problems stop you from getting the treatment you need; there are resources and organizations that may be able to help you.

additional resources

This listing provides you with Internet sites that are sponsored by government agencies or are well-known and credible national organizations.

American Lung Association


Family Caregiver Alliance

Family of COPD Support Programs


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Surfing the Internet
When looking at Internet sites, remember that the information can be sponsored by anyone. Take into account the sponsoring group or individual when gathering information or help. Be especially careful about giving out personal or financial information.

Learn more about surfing the web:

Asma [Asthma]
Bronquitis y pulmonía [Bronchitis and Pneumonia]

Last modified on: 30 June 2015