copd signs and symptoms
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a disease that affects the lungs and makes it hard to breathe. COPD signs and symptoms typically develop slowly, over a period of many years. Many people don?t realize they have the condition until the disease has already progressed and they have lost a significant amount of lung function.
As the disease gets worse, the first COPD signs and symptoms may become apparent. One of the most obvious symptoms is a cough that doesn?t go away. Often people complain of shortness of breath, especially with exertion such as exercise or climbing stairs. Later, shortness of breath can start to interfere with everyday activities like dressing, bathing, and cooking.
COPD can cause you to cough up more mucus (sputum) than usual. Other COPD signs and symptoms include wheezing?a whistling sound when you breathe?and tightness in the chest.
As the disease progresses, COPD signs and symptoms will increase. The mucus may get thicker in the later stages of COPD. Wheezing and chest tightness occur more frequently, and can interfere with daily life. Additional symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and weight loss, may appear. Some people complain of morning headaches, the result of carbon dioxide buildup in their blood as they sleep.
Any COPD signs and symptoms that can?t be explained by a cold, flu, or other respiratory illness should be reported to a doctor. It?s important to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, because getting early treatment can prevent complications such as respiratory infections, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. People who smoke should work with their doctor to quit. Continued exposure to cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoke will irritate the lungs even more and worsen COPD symptoms. Quitting smoking and getting the appropriate treatment can improve both quality of life and life expectancy with COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unfortunately, is associated with a reduced life expectancy. Your COPD prognosis, however, won’t be as bad if you’re in the mildest COPD stages at about age 65. For example, your COPD life expectancy, if you have Stage 1 COPD, might … Read More
The number of Americans who smoke has fallen to 14.9 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—a big drop from 1997, when 25 percent of Americans smoked.
Sadly, however, smoking still kills about half a million Americans annually, and it isn’t just the obvious … Read More
Those at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may wonder, "Is COPD fatal?" While there is no cure, it’s important to keep in mind that when you're dealing with COPD signs and symptoms, various treatment approaches can help you avoid complications.
Some strategies are as straightforward as getting immunized … Read More
When former First Lady Barbara Bush died at 92 on April 17, 2018, reports circulated that she suffered from COPD. But what exactly is the ailment, and what does COPD stand for?
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One of the missions of GOLD COPD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) involves the stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Before diagnosis, a doctor may suspect COPD in anyone with a history of smoking or exposure to environmental irritants. Characteristic lung problem … Read More
You may not have heard of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), but if you have COPD signs and symptoms, the ICD has heard of you—and it even has a series of code numbers for your diagnosis. Codes like "COPD ICD 9" are becoming more important … Read More
If you're battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and you're still a smoker, you've likely already heard this good advice: Give up cigarettes and you can improve life expectancy with COPD.
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"GOLD COPD"—you may have read or heard the phrase in relation to lung diseases. But what does GOLD COPD mean?
The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) is a program created to raise awareness of COPD signs and symptoms and to boost COPD life expectancy. It was launched … Read More
Once you’ve been told you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it’s important to find out where you are as far as COPD stages are concerned. COPD stages include mild (Stage 1 COPD), moderate (Stage 2 COPD), severe (Stage 3 COPD), and very severe (Stage 4 COPD).
These … Read More