COPD Causes and Risks

COPD: The Top Five Risk Factors

COPD is a disabling health ailment that primary impacts a person’s lungs. Although there are treatments to reduce the symptoms of chronic obstructive lung disease, it can still affect your overall quality of life. Here is an overview of the typical causes and risks factors for COPD.

COPD Causes and Risks

Cigarette Smoking

According to health experts, smoking is the number one cause of COPD. After smoking cigarettes for a few years, it is not uncommon for a person to experience difficulty in breathing. After getting their respiratory system examined by a physician, the diagnosis could definitely be COPD. Contrary to common belief, young smokers are also at risk of developing COPD.

Secondhand Smoke

If you live in a household with a smoker, you could be breathing in a lot of secondhand smoke. Over time, this can result in COPD. The best approach is to ask the roommate or family member to smoke outside. According to documented studies, victims of secondhand smoke can suffer the same health problems as an actual cigarette smoker.


Pollution can be a major contributor to the onset of COPD. This is especially true for the people who work in a toxic environment. Some of the risky occupations include coal mining, concrete manufacturing, and industrial work. The excessive dust and fumes can wreck havoc on a person’s lungs. Although protective masks are often used, the workers are still at risk of inhaling hazardous chemicals.

Genetic Defect

Research shows that about three percent of COPD sufferers have a genetic defect. In an effort to provide an extra layer of protection, your body produces a special protein that surrounds the lungs. Unfortunately, a genetic defect can cause this protein to not develop. In many instances, the individual may begin to experience respiratory problems at a very early age.

Asthma Problems

Although asthma impacts a person’s lung health, it is not usually associated with COPD. However, failing to properly treat asthma can definitely lead to COPD. Long-term lung damage is typically irreversible, which means that you must take asthma symptoms very seriously.

While smoking remains the primary cause of COPD, second-hand smoke and pollution are also major risk factors. Lung health should always be a top priority.