COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases, encompassing emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. The disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
Unfortunately, the disease can progress for years if it is undiagnosed. It’s important to talk to a health care provider as soon as you experience symptoms, including increased shortness of breath, frequent coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and unusual tiredness.
While many are not diagnosed with COPD until age 40 or later, early signs of COPD can be found in adults as young as 20 years old.
Early diagnosis is critical to help reduce your lung damage and to help with your quality of life as you manage COPD. Your health care provider can order a Spirometry test and help you establish a COPD care and management plan.
Currently, COPD is an incurable disease; however, it is treatable, and a person diagnosed with COPD who receives the correct diagnosis and treatment can breathe better, thrive, and enjoy their quality of life.
Common symptoms of COPD and other lung conditions include: Listen to your body and your loved ones: Act quickly if you notice symptoms of COPD:
- Coughing (with or without mucus)
- Wheezing or noisy breathing
- Chest tightness
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your health care provider as soon as possible. There are multiple treatments for COPD including medications and lung therapies.
For more information visit https://www.copdfoundation.org.