A few things to know about asthma and COPD

because knowing about your condition can help you manage it.

So we can give you the most appropriate help, please let us know who you are:

This website gives a brief overview of asthma and COPD, what happens in the lungs and how treatments work. Neither condition can be cured, but you’ll find there are lots of ways to keep symptoms under control, some of which you can do for yourself.

Asthma and COPD are both long-term conditions that affect your airways – the small tubes carrying air in and out of your lungs.

While both asthma and COPD cause shortness of breath, there are differences in symptoms that can help you tell them apart:


This kind of breathlessness varies across the time of day, and from day to day, and can wake you up at night.

More about asthma >


This kind of breathlessness doesn’t go away and gets progressively worse over time.

More about COPD >
Asthma COPD

If the information you’re looking for isn’t here, Asthma UK or the British Lung Foundation are charities set up to give you information, advice and support:

British Lung Foundation Tel. 03000 030 555
Asthma UK Ask an asthma nurse
Tel. 0800 121 62 44
  1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, NICE clinical guideline 101, June 2010.