Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Other Causes

06/16/2010

Question:

Can you develop COPD even if you don`t have a history of smoking. My husband has symptoms like those of a COPD patient but does not have a history of smoking. Thank you in advance for your answer.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness and for your question. COPD is defined as airflow obstruction that is not fully reversible. The airflow obstruction in COPD is usually progressive and associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lung to noxious particles or gases (cigarette smoke in most cases).

People can develop COPD without a smoking history, but this is not as common. This can occur with second-hand smoke exposure, chronic exposure to dust or fumes, HIV, and several other conditions. The symptoms of COPD which consist of shortness of breath, cough, and wheezing can be similar to several other conditions. COPD is diagnosed by a breathing test called spirometry. A lung specialist can further assist in sorting out your husband's symptoms and possible causes.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

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