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What are the four stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the symptoms of each?

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The stages and symptoms of COPD are:

Mild. Your airflow is somewhat limited, but you don’t notice it much. You cough and have mucus every once in a while.

Moderate. Your airflow is worse. You’re often short of breath after doing something active. This is the point where most people notice symptoms and get help.

Severe. Your airflow and shortness of breath are worse. You can't do normal exercise anymore. Your symptoms flare up frequently, also called an exacerbation.

Very severe: Your airflow is limited, your flares are more regular and intense, and your quality of life is poor.

From: What Happens When You Have COPD? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE.                                                                    

American Lung Association: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment,” “COPD Treatment Options,” “Managing Your COPD Medications,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: “Pocket Guide to COPD Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?” “How Is COPD Treated?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on June 16, 2017

SOURCES:

Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE.                                                                    

American Lung Association: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment,” “COPD Treatment Options,” “Managing Your COPD Medications,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: “Pocket Guide to COPD Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?” “How Is COPD Treated?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on June 16, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How does your doctor know which stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) you are in?

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