What Is COPD? COPD is the name given to a set of diseases that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The hallmark symptom of COPD is difficulty breathing. Pulmonary Tests & Procedures Your health care provider has a number of tools available to help assess your condition. These include spirometers, peak flow meters, and chest x-rays. Managing Your COPD There is no cure for COPD. You can manage symptoms and slow the damage COPD causes to the heart and lungs by getting medical treatment. Preventing COPD The best thing you can do to prevent COPD is to never smoke. If you do smoke, quit.