Difference between Asthma and COPD

Asthma vs. COPD

What is Difference between Asthma and COPD? The biggest difference between asthma and COPD is that asthma is a problem of the respiratory tract that is caused by certain environmental allergies, pollution, pollen, dust, etc, while COPD is a chronic version of asthma without treatment. It means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Below this post is all about the difference between Asthma and COPD.

Difference between Asthma and COPD

Asthma can be treated in the primary stage but COPD is irreversible. It causes permanent lung damage leading to respiratory problems. The respiratory tubes become swollen, inflated or squeezed during this type of allergy. Therefore, it is hard for the person to breathe in and out, with a lot of coughing and wheezing. Both can be aggravated by weather conditions, infections and strenuous exercise.

The other difference is that asthma is frequent during childhood or adolescence while COPD is observed mainly in heavy smokers. Asthma is triggered by cold air or allergies while COPD is characterized by respiratory tract infection. Asthma can be treated and patients can get immediate relief with normal lung function while patients with COPD rarely get relief from their problems. Another difference between asthma and COPD is that asthma does not cause lung damage while COPD is related to peripheral lung damage which leads to chronic diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema.

Another difference is that asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, chest congestion and frequent wheezing while COPD does not show these signs but can be determined by respiratory tract infections. Asthma can be treated with the appropriate and timely medication while COPD can be controlled only but not treated in its entirety. One can take medication and reduce smoking to get relief. Family history is also related in some way to these diseases. Asthma may not be completely hereditary but some patients with COPD are predicted to contract alpha antitypsin deficiency, which is a genetic disorder. People who are exposed to chemicals in industries, smoke and dust are more prone to these diseases. The coal miners,

Asthma can also be treated with medications and inhalers but COPD requires powerful antibiotics and artificial oxygen supplements. Asthma patients need inhalations of corticosteroids along with bronchodilators as the first line of treatment while the treatment of COPD is the reverse.

Bronchodilators followed by corticosteroid inhalation only in certain cases. In asthma the inflammation is basically eosinophilic whereas in COPD, it is neutrophilic. Anatomically, only the airways are affected in asthma while in COPD the airways are affected along with parenchymal cells as well. Therefore, the treatment of asthma suppresses inflammation while the treatment of COPD reduces the symptoms.


  1. Asthma is an infection of the upper respiratory tract while COPD is a respiratory infection or peripheral damage.
  2. Asthma can be cured and is reversible but COPD is an acute and irreversible form of asthma.
  3. Asthma is common in children while COPD occurs more in adults and smokers.
  4. Asthma is triggered by environmental contamination and allergies while COPD is a respiratory infection caused by exposure to chemicals, smoke, etc.
  5. Asthma can be treated with mild medications while COPD requires powerful medications and supplements.
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