The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines stated that COPD is a disease of airflow limitation that is associated with abnormal inflammatory response. Targeting inflammation and improving airflow is a central goal to treat this disease. Corticosteroids are currently the most popular anti-inflammatory agents for obstructive airway disease. Several long-acting bronchodilators are available to improve airflow. Suppression of inflammation in the asthmatic airway is associated with an increase of expiratory flow. In COPD, the relation between inflammation and airflow limitation is not as clear as that in asthma. Understanding the characters of inflammation and the pathogenesis of airflow limitation may help to provide optimal treatment for patients with COPD.