COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Exams and Tests
COPD, your doctor will probably do the following
- Medical history and physical exam. These will give your doctor important information about
- Lung function testsLung function tests, including an FEV1 test. These
tests measure the amount of air in your lungs and the speed at which air moves in and
out. Spirometry is the most important of these tests.
- Chest X-rayChest X-ray. This helps rule
out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as lung cancer.
Tests done as needed
Tests rarely done
Because COPD is a disease that
keeps getting worse, it is important to schedule regular checkups with your
doctor. Checkups may include:
Tell your doctor about any changes in
your symptoms and whether you have had any
flare-ups. Your doctor may change your medicines based
on your symptoms.
The sooner COPD is diagnosed, the
sooner you can take steps to slow down the disease and keep your quality of
life for as long as possible. Screening tests help your doctor diagnose COPD
early, before you have any symptoms.
Talk to your doctor about
COPD screening if you:
- Are a smoker or an ex-smoker.
- Have had
serious asthma symptoms for a long time, and they have not improved with treatment.
- Have a
family history of
- Have a job where you are exposed to a lot of chemicals or
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) doesn't recommend COPD screening for adults who are not at high risk for COPD.5 And some experts recommend that screening be done only for people who have symptoms of a lung problem.6