Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Your GP may:
They may also carry out or arrange for you to have a breathing test called spirometry and some of the other tests described below.
A test called spirometry can help show how well your lungs are working.
You'll be asked to breathe into a machine called a spirometer after inhaling a medication called a bronchodilator, which helps widen your airways.
The spirometer takes two measurements: the volume of air you can breathe out in one second, and the total amount of air you breathe out. You may be asked to breathe out a few times to get a consistent reading.
The readings are compared with normal results for your age, which can show if your airways are obstructed.
A chest X-ray can be used to look for problems in the lungs that can cause similar symptoms to COPD.
Sometimes a blood test may also be carried outto see if you have alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. This is a rare genetic problem that increases your risk of COPD.
Sometimes more tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis or determine the severity of your COPD.
This will help you and your doctor plan your treatment.
These tests may include:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Many people don't realise they have it.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes breathing increasingly more difficult. But it develops slowly over many years and you may not be aware you have it at first. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, a persistent cough and wheezing, etc.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurs when the lungs and airways become damaged and inflamed. It's usually associated with long-term exposure to harmful substances such as cigarette smoke, or fumes at work, etc.
See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They may also carry out or arrange for you to have a breathing test called spirometry and some of the other tests like chest x-ray, etc.
If your COPD is affecting your breathing, you'll usually be given an inhaler. This is a device that delivers medication directly into your lungs as you breathe in. If you experience symptoms regularly throughout the day, a long-acting bronchodilator inhaler will be recommended instead.
It's important to take good care of yourself if you have COPD. Some of the main things you'll be advised to do are; take your medication, stop smoking, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, etc.
Read the story of Lynn Ashton, who was diagnosed with COPD after she noticed her breathing was getting worse.
Read the story of Eddie Brownlow, who has diagnosed with COPD after smoking 15 cigarettes a day for most of his life.