Signs and Symptoms of COPD

A man receiving oxygen.

COPD Symptoms and Diagnosis

If you are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), then you are probably concerned about how it will affect your quality of life. COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow to your lungs. As this disease progresses, it becomes very difficult to breathe. Your doctor can recommend a treatment plan to improve your breathing.

If COPD is left untreated, it can lead to progressive respiratory infections and heart problems. Read on to find out more about the symptoms of COPD.

Shortness Of Breath

A common symptom of COPD is shortness of breath. It can occur from emphysema and bronchitis. This symptom is often referred to as dyspnea and breathlessness. A person with COPD may feel heaviness on their chest, as it tends to make you gasp for air.

The damage caused by this disease makes it difficult to breathe. The shortness of breath comes from the difficult route your air has to travel in and out of your lungs. It is also very uncomfortable and this feeling may frighten you. When it does occur, you should continue to breathe normally. Breathing does not cause any further damage.

People with COPD can develop chronic bronchitis, which can partially block your airways. Further symptoms may include irritation, inflammation, swelling, and excess mucus in the lungs. For these reasons, inhalers for asthma are often recommended as a medication for COPD.

It is common for patients to take COPD RX inhaled medications. This type of medication decreases your inflammation and opens your airways. It is administered in the form of an inhaler, which you can only get by prescription. An inhaler works by delivering a puff of medicine into your airways.

Is Being Symptomatic A Good Thing?

If you are experiencing symptoms, then it says something about the severity of your condition. COPD symptoms usually do not occur until after significant lung damage. This damage will only get worse. You will need to get on a treatment plan to slow down the damage. Common symptoms for COPD may include:

• Wheezing
• Excess mucus in your lungs
• Chest tightness
• Chronic coughing
• Feeling fatigue
• Swelling in the ankles, feet and legs
• Blueness of the lips and fingernails
• Unexplained weight loss

COPD symptoms tend to vary from person to person. There are different types of COPD. Each type determines the effectiveness of your medication, and how the disease progresses.

Determine Your Type

The type of COPD you are diagnosed with determines how your symptoms affect your quality of life. The two main types of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. If you want to know the type, then you should ask your doctor about a spirometry test. A spirometry test measures how your lungs are functioning. It also is used to help diagnose the disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an incurable and progressive disease. However, you can manage your symptoms with the right COPD RX treatment. Inhalers for COPD and asthma can help you to breathe better. It is still possible to enjoy life and live for a long time with this disease. You should notify your doctor about any symptoms. This information helps with finding the right medication for your condition.

After a COPD diagnosis, you should stop smoking immediately. Continuous smoking can cause further lung damage. It is also important to take steps to slow the damage to your lungs and to improve your health. You can start by clearing your airways, controlling your breathing, exercising regularly, and seeing your doctor on a regular basis.

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