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.

COPD Rehabilitation: Dealing with a Serious Lung Disorder

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rehabilitation is a series of education and structured exercises that allow people to make the most of the remaining capacity of their lungs. People with COPD who engage in a rehabilitation program have less shortness of breath, an increased ability to exercise, better quality of … Read More

How to Prevent Smoking Diseases—and Add Years to Your Life

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 smoking diseases … Read More

What Is Chronic Bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis is one contributing factor to COPD signs and symptoms, but it also has its own distinct place on the lung diseases list. In order to properly answer the question, "What is chronic bronchitis?" it’s useful to know some basic facts about our lungs. Inside the lungs, there is … Read More

COPD Signs and Symptoms: How to Find Help

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 against … Read More

What Does COPD Stand For?

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? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a debilitating respiratory condition for which there isn't a cure. It results in … Read More

GOLD COPD Guidelines for Lung Disease Treatment

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 symptoms that accompany COPD include chronic … Read More

COPD ICD 9: What It Means

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 as the use of … Read More

Quit Smoking: Increase Your Life Expectancy with COPD

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. Nicotine is an addictive substance that acts on regions of the brain that produce pleasurable effects, and it produces these … Read More

What Does “GOLD COPD” Mean?

"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

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.