10 Symptoms of COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, better known as COPD, is a term used to describe a collection of diseases of the lungs. They are usually all characterized by increasing shortness of breath over time. The disorder is a progressive disorder with no cure, but is manageable with treatment.

COPD is a disorder that is of major concern in the United States. In the United States alone, more than 11 million people have been diagnosed with the disorder and it is believed that millions more may not be aware that they have the it since it doesn’t always show symptoms. It is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the mortality rate is higher among women than men.

As stated earlier, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder is a broad term used to describe a collection of pulmonary diseases. These diseases include:

Emphysema
Chronic Bronchitis
Refractory Asthma
Bronchiectasis

People who have Emphysema usually also have Chronic Bronchitis, but a person only needs to have one of these diseases to be considered as a COPD sufferer. Although the disorder is widespread and is incurable, it is a manageable disorder if it is caught in time. There are different medications that help to alleviate symptoms. Many people aren’t aware that they have the disorder because they aren’t familiar with the symptoms, and because the symptoms often don’t show up until later in the disorder. Here are ten of the earliest warning signs of COPD:

1. Shortness Of Breath

Shortness Of Breath Shortness of breath is the main symptom of COPD as well as the symptom that can get progressively worse over time the most if not treated. Shortness of breath is a daily struggle for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. They may experience shortness of breath after performing simple, light activities that most people can do without any problem. Walking up a short flight of stairs, a brief walk to the mailbox, or light exercise could become hard for a COPD patient’s lungs to handle. They may even get short of breath for no reason at all. Shortness of breath can become so serious to the point that the diaphragm becomes limited in movement and simply won’t expand enough to take deep breaths. This struggle to draw in enough air can lead to people constantly leaning forward to try to breath properly. People with this disorder live in constant fear of doing things each day. Undiagnosed people may not even be aware that their shortness of breath is coming from a disease or disorder. They simply associate shortness of breath with the aging process but simple activities should not make a person short of breath no matter what their age is.