COPD Explained in Spanish

Welcome to the first free audio lesson introducing the COPD Module of our Pulmonary Medicine Course.  In this lesson, you will hear the diagnosis of COPD explained in Spanish.


Table of Contents

Timestamps are provided at so that you can jump from section to section as you listen.

We have covered respiratory symptoms, smoking history, and inhaler use in prior lessons.

Therefore, in this series covering Spanish for COPD, we will focus on patient education. In this first audio lesson of the series, you will hear COPD explained in Spanish and how it differs from Asthma. In the upcoming audio lessons, the doctor will discuss the causes of COPD, the importance of smoking cessation, pulmonary function tests, oxygen monitoring, screening for lung cancer, oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation.

!Gracias a Mis Colaboradores!

Dr. Yaron Goldman a pulmonologist and member at shared what he felt was essential information during a clinic visit for a patient with a new diagnosis of COPD. Muchísimas gracias al doctor Goldman por su colaboración.

I would also like to thank Ángel Bahena a Spanish language teacher from Mexico who just completed his training as an ICU nurse.  Angel provides one on one lessons over Skype. You can email Ángel to find out more.

Summary of the Clinical Dialogue


The doctor explains how chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can lead to two types of problems, chronic bronchitis, which leads to a persistent cough, and emphysema, which makes it difficult to breathe and get enough oxygen. He explains that the patient suffers from a combination of these two problems. As is often the case, the patient was previously diagnosed with asthma and assumes that is what she has.  The doctor then goes on to explain the difference between Asthma and COPD.

As you listen….

…try to pick out the Spanish words for:

  • COPD
  • Airways
  • Wheezing
  • Oxygen

There will be a brief quiz at the end. 😉

COPD Explained in Spanish



Usted tiene algo que se llama (la) enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva crónica, también conocida como la EPOC. Esta enfermedad puede llevar a dos tipos de problemas:


El primer problema se llama (la) bronquitis crónica y ocurre cuando hay mucha inflamación en las vías respiratorias. Esta inflamación causa una tos persistente con mucha flema, sibilancias, que es como un silbido que se oye al respirar, y dificultad para respirar también.


El segundo problema se llama (la) enfisema y ocurre cuando los alveolos, o sea las bolsitas de aire en los pulmones, se dañan. Esto hace que sea difícil respirar y recibir el oxígeno que usted necesita.



Entonces yo debo de tener enfisema. Mi papá tenía enfisema.


Usted sufre de una combinación de estos dos problemas: la bronquitis crónica, que causa la tos con flema y la enfisema que dificulta la respiración.



¿Y esta enfermedad, la EPOC es como el asma? Porque ya me han diagnosticado asma.


El asma suele aparecer en la juventud por causa de alergias. Generalmente, se puede revertir la inflamación y el estrechamiento de la vías respiratorias que se dan en el asma con tratamiento. A diferencia del asma, la enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva crónica es progresiva, lo cual significa que aún con tratamiento la función de los pulmones empeora con el tiempo.


Bueno doctor. Me parece que ya es hora de dejar de fumar.

Vocabulary Quiz


(la) EPOC

(la) enfermedad obstructiva pulmonar crónica
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

(las) vías respiratorias

(las) sibilancias

un silbido que se oye al respirar
a whistle heard when you breathe

(el) oxígeno

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In the premium audio lessons, we will practice all the key vocabulary in this dialogue and then we will put that vocabulary to use as we interpret the dialogue between English and Spanish. This lesson is part or our full-access Premium Medical Spanish membership. 

The lessons offered at are a fun way to practice medical Spanish. They are not intended to teach medicine or provide medical advice. These lessons are intended to improve communication with Spanish-speaking patients, but they are not intended to substitute for a qualified medical interpreter.

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