stages are a chronic health problem that is considered as one
of the most common of all pulmonary based diseases. Chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease is the term often abbreviated as COPD.
Exertion, stress or illness can
create more problems as these conditions intensify the respiratory
problems that are already resulting from COPD.
air can be breathed into the body, but these patients begin to have
difficulty with exhaling the air. As a result oxygen
absorption begins to go down, and lung function begins
Chronic bronchitis is a form of it and is
normally defined by the a long term cough and the production
thats is thick. Emphysema is a more severe form of COPD and this health
condition occurs when the lungs have sustained damage over a period of
most people who smoke have some condition of COPD, in some cases there
few individuals who do smoke and that may not develop extensive
problems with the lung disease.
Being exposed to smoke of others, certain fumes and
environmental pollutants are also related to it.
lasting cough that produces mucus can be indicative of COPD stages.
is different from regular coughs associated with allergies or the
coughs that accompany respiratory infections such as colds. Wheezing is
another sign that is present. Exertional shortness of breath
is often present when a person has chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease. Individuals with this lung condition are very easily fatigued
and often complain of being short of breath even when they are resting.
Frequent moments of respiratory infections are classic signs of COPD or
other lung problems.
Diagnosing is often done with a test of lung function and capacity.
test uses a small breathing apparatus that is called a spirometer and
no needles, X-rays or lab tests are involved.
doctors will do a test known as arterial blood gas sample. They may
also request a chest X-ray or scan. Physicians also rely on the
results of a physical exam at which time they inspect the patient's
appearance and listen to the lungs with a stethoscope.
Stages of COPD
are four COPD stages, and the diagnosis and stage of the disease is
dependent upon the amount of air a person can force from their lungs.
Doctors measure the air volume during a pulmonary test and can then
determine how advanced this lung condition actually is. The volume of
air being measured is designated FEV1.
Stage 1 is referred
to as mild COPD. Most individuals do not yet have any signs or symptoms
of the disease, but doctors can determine this early stage through
testing. The air volume FEV1 is 80% of normal, or higher.
2 is termed moderate COPD and at this point the forced expiratory
volume, FEV1, is still 50-80% of the normal amount. These individuals
with Stage 2 COPD generally often have exertional shortness of breath,
and could have developed a chronic cough.
Stage 3 is
designated as severe COPD with an FEV1 volume that is only 30-50% of
normal capacity. Fatigue begins to set in, individuals tire very easily
and any exertion brings about additional shortness of breath.
4 is also defined as very severe. The FEV1 amount is
low, registering under 30% of normal. This is also when oxygen therapy
at home is required because shortness of breath will be present even if
the individual is resting or sleeping.
is possible to slow the progression of the disease. Some patients may
need home oxygen therapy to deal with the condition. Exercise and
rehabilitation techniques will also be of benefit to patients with this
A person in the COPD stages should avoid smoking and there
should be no second hand smoke in their homes. It is also helpful to
reduce smoke that may be caused by a fireplace, a wood stove or by
cooking. Basic daily exercise, as tolerated, will help a person become
stronger and can also improve their lung function. A fan can keep the
interior air circulating in the home and make it easier for patients to
There are some surgical
interventions that involve removing parts of the lungs to simplify the breathing.
Sometimes it may be necessary to have a doctor, dietitian help
establish a menu that provides enough calories and protein for patients
who are suffering from it.
Changing to a healthier diet that
includes lean meats, fruits, vegetables will also be of
Still, the majority of treatments are considered to
address the signs and symptoms of the COPD
best prevention against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
is to avoid smoking. A healthy lifestyle could help you guard against
this devastating lung condition.
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