Copd Stages

The copd 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. The 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 to diminish.

Chronic bronchitis is a form of it and is normally defined by the a long term cough and the production mucus 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 time.


Often most people who smoke have some condition of COPD, in some cases there are a 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.

Signs and Symptoms

A lasting cough that produces mucus can be indicative of COPD stages. This cough 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. This test uses a small breathing apparatus that is called a spirometer and no needles, X-rays or lab tests are involved.

Sometimes 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 

There 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.

Stage 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.

Stage 4 is also defined as very severe. The FEV1 amount is quite 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.

Treatment Options

It is possible to slow the progression of the disease. Some patients may need home oxygen therapy to deal with the condition. Exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation techniques will also be of benefit to patients with this lung disease.

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 breathe.

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 benefit.

Still, the majority of treatments are considered to address the signs and symptoms of the COPD stages. The 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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