Asthma Vs COPD – The Differences

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD and asthma have similar symptoms but they are not same conditions. In the cases one is like to experience shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and similar symptoms and this makes it difficult for anyone to identify if it is asthma or COPD. However, there are certain differences between these two conditions which everyone should keep in mind and below given is the list of the same.

asthma vs COPD

Difference Between COPD and Asthma

Though both the conditions show similarity in symptoms, there are certain differences among them. They are as follows.


Cough and shortness of breath can be the common symptoms for both asthma and COPD. However, tightness in the chest and wheezing are two added symptoms associated with asthma, while daily morning cough accompanied with phlegm is a sure shot sign of chronic bronchitis, which comes under the umbrella of COPD. Moreover, people suffering from asthma are more likely to fall victims to allergic reactions.


Among the causes, COPD is primarily a disease of smokers. Generally it is associated with a long history of smoking. On the other hand, asthma could occur among both smokers and non smokers. This disease is genetic and generally runs in the family. But one can never be sure if one will have it or not. It does not have much connection with smoking. However, if a patient of asthma takes to smoking, it will make his condition worse. Therefore both COPD patients and patients of asthma will do well to steer clear of smoking.


Since COPD and asthma are two different conditions, it is obvious that there treatment will be different too. However, it is important to diagnose the exact condition. Unless that is done, the treatment will not bear much-results. But, in general the medicines are the same, it is the therapies that differ according to the condition of a specific patient.

Age Group

It is generally seen that the onset of asthma is experienced in early period of one’s life, while COPD occurs in elder people, especially those with a long history of smoking behind them.

One important similarity between these two diseases is that neither is curable. However, with early detection and proper medication, asthma can be kept under control, but COPD on the other hand is progressive in nature, and even with right treatment it cannot be reversed. These are the basic similarities and differences between the two conditions.


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