Pediatric Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes it difficult to breathe due to long-term damage that weakens or collapses the air sacs between the lungs.

What is Pediatric Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

COPD happens when long-term damage to the lungs makes it difficult to breathe. This is because the walls between the air sacs of the lungs become weak and may collapse. It is most common in adults who are current or former cigarette smokers.

Usually, when a child has difficulty breathing, a chronic cough or wheezing, it is due to asthma, a chronic lung infection or cystic fibrosis. These symptoms may also be due to exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution or other irritants.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

What are the causes of Pediatric Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

Your child is more at risk for developing COPD later in life if they are exposed to cigarette smoke, or they smoke cigarettes themselves. There is some research that shows children with asthma or other lung problems may be at an increased risk of developing COPD later in life.