Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease that makes it difficult to empty air out of the lungs. When lungs are healthy, the airways and air sacs/pockets have an elastic, flexible quality. They expand to fill with air and then bounce back to their original shape when air is exhaled. This elasticity helps the air to move in and out. In people with COPD, the air sacs/pockets no longer bounce back to their original shape, and the airways can become swollen or thicker than normal.

COPD can also cause increased swelling and mucus (sputum) production. The airways can become partially blocked, making it even harder to get air in and out of the lungs. Early symptoms of COPD include breathlessness and cough. This may worsen over a period of time and may lead to lung attacks.

We are responding to the growing burden of COPD

Causes of COPD

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COPD Symptoms

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Do you cough often, and on most days?

Do you cough up phlegm or mucus on most days?

Do you get breathlessness more easily than others of your age?

Are you older than 40 years?

Are you a current smoker or an ex-smoker?


If you answered yes to three or more of these questions; ask your doctor, you might have COPD.

Reference : *GOLD 2020

COPD – Go Orange Campaign

Since COPD is the most prevalent disease in Sri Lanka with 10.5% of the patients suffering with impaired Quality of Life, on 20th November 2019, Cipla created a mass awareness campaign to educate the public on COPD. We joined hands with Sri Lanka college of Pulmonologists (SLCP) and conducted the “Go Orange” campaign. More than 1500 people participated - got their lungs screened, entered a candle blowing contest, asked queries on COPD and signed a wall and promised to fight against COPD.

Save Your Lungs

With Asthma, COPD & Allergic Rhinitis on the rise, Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists along with Cipla, commenced a movement- #SaveYourLungsKandy on World Environment Day to help create awareness against the harmful effects of air pollutants


Breathefree is a public service initiative from Cipla, for patients with chronic airway diseases. It is a comprehensive patient support system for respiratory care.

Treating COPD

COPD doesn’t have a cure, but it does have treatments that can help you live a better life. Having COPD does not mean you cannot lead a full life. With the right medication, a proper diet and lifestyle changes you can achieve good symptom control and quality of life.
COPD requires proper treatment and management. To keep it under control and manage it effectively, you need to follow your doctor’s advice thoroughly.
The symptoms may not entirely go away, however, with proper treatment and lifestyle changes you can continue living your life to the fullest.


These drugs act very quickly by opening the lung airways. Opened airways help relieve coughing and breathlessness. If you feel breathless only during activities then short-acting bronchodilators will be given by your doctor. If you feel breathless daily then long-acting bronchodilators will be given by your doctor. The effect of long acting bronchodilators will last for 12 to 24 hours

One must not stop taking medicine if they feel better. COPD is a long term progressive disease and taking to the medicine will help in reducing breathlessness and improved quality of life. Doctor must be consulted before stopping medicine for symptoms and flare-ups (worsening of symptoms or Lung Attacks)

Breathing Exercises for COPD*

Pursed lip breathing

  • While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to 2. Follow this pattern by repeating in your head “inhale, 1,2.” The breath does not have to be deep. A typical inhale will do.
  • Put your lips together as if you are starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is know as ‘Pursing’ your lips.
  • While continuing to jeep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don’t try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.

Exercise benefits:

  • Decrease your symptoms and improve your breathing.
  • Helps to release air trapped in the lungs.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • Makes your lung function more efficiently

Reference:* An Fam Physician. 2014;89 (1): 15-16