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Feeling out of breath? Coughing all the time?

You may want to dismiss these as symptoms, but they could be signs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), a lung disease, is the third leading cause of death in the US.

COPD, often caused by smoking or second-hand smoke, can show up as:

  • Chronic bronchitis: A persistent, long-term cough that produces mucus
  • Emphysema: The gradual destruction of the lung’s air sacs

COPD progressively worsens and can have serious consequences. There’s no cure, but we have treatments that can help, including inhalers and medications.

Get Diagnosed

You'll need a breathing test called spirometry to find out how your lungs are functioning.


U.S. News & World Report has ranked UVA the No. 1 hospital in Virginia. We’ve also received the highest possible performance rating in nine conditions and procedures, including our COPD care. We are one of the few medical centers in the region to offer a specialized clinic for the management of COPD.

We were one of the first to treat advanced emphysema with endobronchial valves. These tiny implants — an alternative to lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) — block inhaled air from flowing into the diseased sections of the lungs, and improve the overall function of the lungs.

Learn more about how we approach treatment and research of COPD.