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Difference Between COPD and Wheezing

Difference Between COPD and Wheezing

Do you sometimes hear a whistling or hissing sound when you breathe? You may be experiencing wheezing, which is an audible sign of labored breathing. While some people may mistake an episode of wheezing as coming from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), it’s important to know that there are differences between the two. In this blog post, we will take a look at COPD and Wheezing and how they impact everyday life. Together, let’s explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments for both conditions to better understand what anyone suffering through these afflictions can do to relieve their symptoms.

What is COPD?

COPD, otherwise known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is one of the most common lung diseases in today’s world. COPD develops over a long period of time due to an individual’s exposure to irritating particles consistently and regularly over several years. Those who suffer from COPD may experience difficulty breathing, coughing more than usual, increased mucus production, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest tightness.

COPD is not curable however it can be managed with lifestyle changes such as ceasing smoking, avoiding irritants, and changing diet. COPD is serious and requires prompt medical attention, however, it can be easily prevented if individuals limit their exposure to pollutants and other irritants.

What is Wheezing?

Wheezing is a common sound that comes from the lungs due to a narrowing of the airways. Wheezing is commonly associated with a medical condition known as asthma, which causes the muscles within the respiratory system to spasm and make breathing difficult. Wheezing can also be caused by certain allergies and other obstructions such as tumors or cysts in the lungs.

Wheezing is often accompanied by shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing, and difficulty speaking. Wheezing can range from mild to severe and may require medical treatment depending on its severity. Although symptoms of wheezing can vary from person to person, it’s important to note that any persistent wheezing should be seen by a doctor for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Difference Between COPD and Wheezing

COPD and Wheezing are both respiratory conditions, but COPD is more serious.

  • COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is an umbrella term for conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • COPD develops over time due to when your lungs have become damaged, typically from smoking or exposure to pollutants.
  • Wheezing, on the other hand, is an indication that something else is wrong with your lungs – it could be COPD or some other condition.

In either case, it’s a good idea to see a doctor if you experience wheezing or COPD-like symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. Your doctor can help diagnose any underlying condition and recommend the best treatment plan accordingly.


It’s important to know the difference between COPD and wheezing so you can get the right diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know has symptoms of COPD, make an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

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