Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure (CHF) both cause difficulty breathing. For people who are suffering breathing symptoms, identifying the cause can be a challenging task.
Shortness of breath and wheezing are common symptoms of both COPD and CHF. Breathing difficulties usually happen after physical exercise and are more likely to develop gradually. At the beginning, you may feel out of breath after simple activities like climbing stairs. When the condition gets worse, shortness of breath or wheezing can happen with little physical effort.
It is important to know that one of the main symptoms of COPD is the chronic cough. The chronic cough can bring up mucus from your diseased airways or it can be a dry cough. While patients with CHF are more likely to experience a dry cough that produces sputum. Sputum is mucus that can also involve blood, pus, or bacteria.
In addition, patients with COPD can suffer from tightness in the chest. In contrast, CHF doesn’t cause chest tightness, however patients with CHF can have a feeling that heart beating irregularly or rapidly in chest.
Although they bear a close resemblance in terms of symptoms, COPD and CHF develop from different ways. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. A person with history of smoking is more likely to develop respiratory problems including COPD. But this doesn’t mean that if you are smoking, you’ll definitely get COPD, it only increases the likelihood of COPD. Smoking is also known as a risk factor for heart disease and CHF.
Breathing secondhand smoke or inhaling chemicals in the workplace can also be a risk factor causing COPD. And, people with a family history of COPD are more likely to have a higher risk of developing the condition.
One important thing you should know about heart failure is that it can be caused by coronary artery disease (CAD). This disease develops when the blood vessels in the heart become blocked, which may lead to heart attacks. Other risk factors can lead to heart failure include diseases of the heart valves, high blood pressure, and diseases of the heart muscle.
COPD and CHF are serious conditions that disturb your breathing and can reduce the ability to join in daily activity. Although both of them have similar symptoms and risk factors, COPD damages your lungs and CHF damages your heart.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: April 19, 2019 | Last Modified: April 19, 2019
COPD and Heart Failure. http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/copd-and-heart-failure. Assessed January 18, 2017.
COPD vs. CHF: Similarities and Differences. http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/copd-vs-congestive-heart-failure#Overview1. Assessed January 18, 2017.