It’s my understanding that Asthma and COPD overlap, just as Emphysema and COPD, or Chronic bronchitis and COPD overlap. Each with its own challenges.
There is a lady named Jean on here, sure she could explain it better. What say you. Jean?
COPD is an umbrella term that includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It's defined as a disease because so many people present with elements of both and neither condition dominates at all times; hence one diagnosis: COPD.
There are people who exhibit both conditions; asthma and COPD. This is a group that's been fairly recently identified as a defined group, so there are still questions to be answered regarding exactly who is included and what a reasonable treatment plan consists of. Many of the symptoms are the same: wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, etc. What is different is that sometimes these symptoms show up and respond to asthma meds and sometimes not.
Asthma generally responds better to bronchodilators, shows greater reversability than COPD, and shows a greater eosinophil count. The treatment for ACOS includes typical treatments for asthma: both short and long-acting bronchodilators (LAMA and LABA) and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). In addition the techniques for controlling and managing COPD are also prescribed: daily exercise, no smoking, diet and healthy eating, weight control, flu and pneumonia vaccines, O2 if needed, and get to your doc ASAP if you get something respiratory.
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