British Lung Foundation
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Copd/asthma? What is the difference?

I wonder... To my knowledge I have been an asthmatic for over 60 years and have been treated as such by doctors with lnhalers and puffers etc. I went to a doctor I've never known before for a cough and she had my chest x rayed. Called me back to tell me that I did not have asthma but had copd. Gave me some stuff called Ultibro to use once a day and come back to see her in three weeks. Then I read in the pamphlet to not use this medicine if you have asthma! What am I to do? Has anyone heard of Ultibro breeze healer? Can anyone give me any insight? Thanks xrpeter.

9 Replies

Hiya seven years ago I was diagnosed with asthma just the odd attack over the years. Then about three years ago the attacks got more frequent and worse . I was sent to a specialist who said copd . They say there is a very thinline between the two I started on inhailers now im on nebuliser steroid inhailer uniphylin tabs montelucast tabs steroids every day. Tablets for bones be cause of constant steroid use. And still no further on to the cause.


Read the excellent discussion "At Last, A Definitive A Explanation of COPD " by clicking the link under the Related Posts in the right hand margin. It is by Mark from the British Lung Foundation.


This is not


Hi xrpeter, I was at one of the blf meet the expert conferences last month and someone asked what the difference is between asthma and copd he said that asthma is caused by triggered inflammation of the airwaywhich is reversible, copd is irrevesible destruction of the alveoli. ..air sacks at the ends of breathing tubes. Copd is generally caused by the inhalation of damaging substances. Hope that helps a bit. X


That's pretty much my (non-qualified!) understanding; atopic asthma (the one that children tend to get) is an allergic reaction to something, COPD is a different kind of obstruction. I've been disagnosed with both though with a suggestion my (lifelong) asthma has caused other issues in my airways.

I'm not a doctor though, just a lifelong wheezer!!


This puts it well. I have RLD which gets even more confusing ?

Be Well


Hi Erpeter

my local pharmacist gave me all the answers I think you want by printing off an information sheet from his computer.

go to

This gives you all the various differences.


I have non triggered asthma and COPD...two different conditions. However, most of the medication I take also says "do not use if ...." so no difference there. If you want things clarified, find your local respiratory team and self refer.


Actually a lot asthma has a trigger copd is constant


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