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A COPD Diagnosis Begins with Recognizing COPD Symptoms

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Do you have shortness of breath or a nagging cough that is finally starting to take its toll? Recognizing the symptoms of COPD is the first step toward obtaining an accurate diagnosis.
  1. Could It Be COPD?
  2. What Causes COPD?
  3. Making a COPD Diagnosis
  4. COPD Complications and Comorbidities
  5. Differential Diagnosis in COPD
  6. Distinguishing Between Asthma and COPD
  1. So, You've Been Diagnosed with COPD: Now What?
  2. What the Heck's Going On In Your Lungs?
  3. COPD Grading/Staging
  4. COPD Research
  5. What About COPD Life Expectancy?
  6. Share Your Thoughts

Could It Be COPD?

COPD questions to ask your doctor

Just because you have one or several symptoms of COPD does not necessarily mean that you have the disease. Learn how to recognize symptoms of COPD and get a firm handle on your life.

What Causes COPD?

Air Pollution

Although smoking is the primary cause of COPD, never-smokers can also develop the disease. Discover the causes of COPD including several that are unrelated to smoking.

Making a COPD Diagnosis

CT Scan

A COPD diagnosis starts with an in-depth history and physical and is followed by a battery of tests designed to help your doctor evaluate your lung function.

COPD Complications and Comorbidities

Respiratory Failure

Having COPD makes you vulnerable to certain COPD complications. Other illnesses, or comorbidities can make your COPD worse. Find out how to recognize COPD complications and what you can do about them once they've occurred. Learn more about the common comorbidities associated with COPD.

Differential Diagnosis in COPD

Differential Diagnosis in COPD

When trying to form a COPD diagnosis, your doctor will try to rule out other causes for your symptoms. This is known as making a differential diagnosis. Find out what illnesses may be included when making a differential diagnosis of COPD.

Distinguishing Between Asthma and COPD

Asthma or COPD?

Contrary to popular belief, asthma is not among the group of lung diseases classified as COPD. In fact, while they share similar characteristics, they are very different in terms of disease onset, frequency of symptoms and reversibility of airway obstruction. Learn more about these differences.

So, You've Been Diagnosed with COPD: Now What?

Learning More About COPD

Now that you have been diagnosed with COPD, it is important for you to to inundate yourself with as much information about the disease as possible. Knowing what you are up against will help you better understand what to do about it.

What the Heck's Going On In Your Lungs?

COPD Pathophysiology

COPD pathophysiology explains what goes on in your lungs when you have COPD. Find out more about the pathophysiology of COPD to gain a better understanding of your disease.

COPD Grading/Staging

Stages of COPD

According to the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), COPD is divided into four grades (formerly called stages). Grading is done using a simple breathing test known as spirometry.

COPD Research

COPD Clinical Trials

COPD research is important, because with it comes new hope for better treatments for COPD. Learn more about COPD research and how to participate in a COPD clinical trial.

What About COPD Life Expectancy?

End of Life Issues

The prognosis of COPD, or how long you will live after a diagnosis, is influenced by many factors. Doctors make predictions of COPD life expectancy using a variety of tools. Find out what factors are associated with your prognosis and learn how you can improve it.

Share Your Thoughts

One of the best ways to share suggestions or learn information from others about COPD is through User Answers. A unique, interactive tool designed to enrich the reader's experience, User Answers are fun and easy to participate in, and allow readers to have their suggestions and comments be part of real, live About.com articles.

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