Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a common condition which normally affects middle aged or older adults who smoke.  It includes emphysema (damage to the air sacs in the lungs) and chronic bronchitis, long term inflammation of the airways.

Most sufferers don’t realise they have the condition and over time respiratory problems will deteriorate and have an adverse impact upon normal everyday life.

The main cause of COPD is smoking which affects the lungs causing inflammation and damage to the lung linings. Non-smokers can be affected but it is recognised that smoking will increase the risks of developing COPD.  Other causes involve long term exposure to harmful fumes or dust and in some instances genetic factors increase likelihood of harm, common symptoms include;

  • Increased breathlessness upon exertion
  • Persistent chest cough with phlegm
  • Regular chest infections
  • Persistent wheezing

Studies have linked more than a dozen different diseases to asbestos exposure which include mesothelioma and asbestosis.  In respect of COPD the evidence is less clear although researchers suspect that exposure to asbestos dust can aggravate COPD.

Whilst damage to the lungs caused by COPD is permanent treatments can help to slow down progression of the disease.  Typically treatments will include;

  • Stopping smoking
  • Inhalers and medication
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery or lung transplant

The outlook for COPD varies from person to person and in most cases smoking cessation can increase the quality of life. Sadly the condition is irreversible and COPD is now widely considered to be a preventable condition.

If you have been diagnosed with COPD or you are undergoing medical investigations and mention has been made that your condition could be work-related please call us today on FREEPHONE 0808 164 7740 or speak to us via our LIVE CHAT.

If you prefer you can forward a copy of any correspondence to us, (including medical report, letter, scan or x-ray report etc) in a plain envelope addressed to ‘Freepost SCOTTISH ASBESTOS HELPLINE’ – please remember no stamp is required.  Alternatively you might wish to email us at

Your solicitors can deal with your enquiry even if you were employed or exposed to asbestos in England, Ireland or Wales

Call us today for free on:

0808 164 7740

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