When you develop a lung disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it becomes a part of your life. The big question is: How can I breathe better? The first step is getting the diagnosis straight. Some asthma and COPD differences are subtle, and there’s even a third possibility: asthma-COPD overlap syndrome. Here's a look at how two affected people are coping with their circumstances.
Mitchell Spanjers, 20, a college junior in Minnesota, found out he had asthma in kindergarten. “I live in a suburb with a decently sized backyard, and I was running around and it got hard to breathe,” he recalls. His pediatrician soon made the diagnosis.