Quiz – Taking Your Breath Away

There are two main forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus, and emphysema, which gradually damages the air sacs in your lungs. Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions. Just because you don’t smoke doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. Take our quiz to learn more:

1. A common symptom of COPD is:

A. Cough, with or without mucus

B. Fatigue

C. Many respiratory infections

D. Shortness of breath (dyspnea) that gets worse with mild activity

E. All of the above

2. All of the following are risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease EXCEPT:

A. Exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace

B. Smoking

C. Physical inactivity or obesity

D. Exposure to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution

E. Frequent use of cooking fire without proper ventilation

3. The best test for COPD is a pulmonary function test called spirometry. 

A. True

B. False

4. People with COPD can make it easier for themselves around the home by doing all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Avoiding very cold air

B. Making sure no one else smokes in the home

C. Reducing air pollution by getting rid of fireplace smoke and other irritants

D. Having one cigarette after a meal to ward off nicotine withdrawal

5.A simple exercise such as walking is too dangerous for people with COPD.

A. True

B. False


1. E. All of the above. Symptoms of COPD may develop so slowly that patients are unaware they have the disease

2. C. Physical inactivity or obesity. One other rare risk factor is the lack of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. Those who lack this protein can develop emphysema even if they are non-smokers.

3. A. True. A spirometry involves blowing into a small machine that tests lung capacity, and the results can be checked immediately. 

4. D. Having one cigarette after a meal to ward off nicotine withdrawal. People with COPD absolutely must stop smoking. This is the best way to slow down lung damage.

5. B. False. Pulmonary rehabilitation can teach patients to breathe in a different way so that they can stay active. Your doctor or therapist will help determine how far you can walk to exercise safely and avoid being short of breath.

Source:  The Health Library. Learn more about COPD here.

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