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Difference Between COPD and Cough

Difference Between COPD and Cough

Do you find yourself coughing a lot? The majority of people do; and it can be concerning when you don’t know the cause or solution. Coughing is one of our body’s natural processes for clearing out irritants, but it may not always be that simple. It could be an indication of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or simply a lingering cough from earlier illness. Understanding the difference between COPD and a cough can help us identify what we need to address in order to better manage and treat our symptoms. In this blog post, we will take a look into both health issues and break down how they differ as well as what possible solutions exist to improve your breathing again!

What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a lung disease characterized by the narrowing of airways leading to difficulty breathing. COPD can cause frequent coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath—symptoms that may get worse over time. COPD is commonly associated with smoking but can be caused by other triggers like chemical fumes, dust particles, and secondhand smoke. Long-term exposure to these irritants can make COPD develop slowly, and it’s important for people to be aware of its dangers so they can avoid them and protect their health.

What is Cough?

  • Cough is the body’s way of eliminating foreign particles, mucus, and other irritants from the respiratory system. Coughing expels these substances through the mouth or nose which aids in maintaining healthy breathing.
  • Coughs can range from a dry, hacking sound to a deep, productive wet cough and can be caused by numerous conditions. Common causes of coughs include cold and allergy symptoms, smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke, pneumonia or bronchitis, acid reflux disease, exposure to air pollution, and postnasal drip.
  • Coughs can be bothersome but usually resolve without treatment in less than 3 weeks. If a cough persists for more than 3 weeks and is accompanied by a fever or chest pain it is recommended that you visit your doctor for further testing.

Difference Between COPD and Cough

COPD and Cough are two common respiratory conditions that can have very different effects on the body.

  • COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a progressive lung condition that impacts an individual’s ability to breathe.
  • It is caused by long-term exposure to certain chemicals or hazardous materials, smoking, or other environmental factors.
  • On the other hand, a persistent cough is actually a symptom of COPD in some cases but it can also be caused by conditions such as allergies, asthma, and even the common cold.
  • COPD requires medical treatment while eliminating triggers and managing symptoms can help relieve coughing.

It is important to understand COPD and coughing are two distinct areas that require different solutions when it comes to managing respiratory health.


COPD and cough are often confused because they both involve breathing difficulties. However, they are two separate conditions with different causes. COPD is a chronic lung condition that can be caused by smoking or exposure to harmful chemicals or particles in the air. Cough, on the other hand, is a symptom of many different conditions, including colds, allergies, and even some types of cancer. If you have a cough that does not go away or gets worse over time, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any serious underlying conditions.

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