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 Exacerbations: These Lung Condition Flare-Ups Can Be Serious

If you battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you may already be aware of COPD exacerbations—sudden flare-ups of COPD signs and symptoms beyond normal day-to-day variations. Increased breathlessness along with wheezing, chest tightness, increased cough and sputum, change of the color of sputum, and fever are common features of COPD … Read More

What Is Emphysema?

Emphysema is one contributing factor to COPD signs and symptoms, but it also has its own distinct place in the lung diseases list. What is emphysema? In order to properly answer the question, it helps to understand how our lungs work. For Starters: Lung Facts Inside the lungs, there is … Read More

COPD Medications List: What to Expect

There are no cures for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but your doctor will work with you to figure out the right COPD medications and combinations of meds to relieve your symptoms. COPD exacerbation treatment in particular may involve several drugs. Below is a COPD medications list to inform you … Read More

COPD Diagnosis: What Can You Learn from Screening and Testing?

In order to determine whether your lung problem symptoms are caused by COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), your doctor will perform a physical examination, take a detailed medical history, ask about any history of smoking (or current smoking habit) and other lifestyle issues, and perform a COPD diagnosis. The main … Read More

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