Causes of COPD
There are numerous things that might increase your risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), many of which can be avoided.
By far the most common cause of COPD is smoking. Figures show that about 90% of all COPD diagnosis are thought to be as a result of smoking (including cigar and pipe smoke). Smoking inflames the delicate lining of the airways and as a result they become permanently and irreversibly damaged. Up to 25% of all smokers will develop COPD
Passive smoking is also a risk, even if you don’t smoke yourself you are at risk of contracting the disease by living with a smoker and breathing in the smoke.
Pollution Fumes and dust can also cause COPD. Exposure to certain types of dust and chemicals at work, including grains, isocyanates, cadmium and coal have been linked to the development of COPD, even in people who do not smoke.
Clearly the risk of COPD is even higher if you breathe in dust or fumes in the workplace and you smoke.
Whilst some research has indicated air pollution may be an additional risk factor for COPD at the moment it is still not conclusive and research is continuing.
About 3 in 100 people with COPD have a defect in their DNA the code that tells your body how to work properly. This defect is called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency or AAT deficiency. Your lungs don't have enough of a protein needed to protect them from damage. This can lead to severe COPD. If you or a family member had serious lung problems -- especially at a young age -- you're more likely to have AAT deficiency.
Although It's not common, asthma if not treated overtime can cause lifetime damage to your lungs, which can then lead to COPD.