A COPD Diagnosis Begins with Recognizing COPD Symptoms
By Deborah Leader, RN, About.com Guide
- Could It Be COPD?
- What Causes COPD?
- Making a COPD Diagnosis
- COPD Complications and Comorbidities
- Differential Diagnosis in COPD
- Distinguishing Between Asthma and COPD
- So, You've Been Diagnosed with COPD: Now What?
- What the Heck's Going On In Your Lungs?
- COPD Grading/Staging
- COPD Research
- What About COPD Life Expectancy?
- Share Your Thoughts
Could It Be COPD?
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.
- Assess Your Risk for COPD
- List of COPD Risk Factors
- Symptoms of COPD
- Symptoms of Emphysema
- Symptoms of Chronic Brohchitis
- Symptoms of Bronchiectasis
- The Difference Between Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis
- Types of COPD
- What is Dyspnea?
- Why Does My Chest Feel Tight?
- Why Do I Have So Much Mucus?
- Why Are My Ankles Swollen?
- I Have a Bad Cough - Do I Have COPD?
What Causes COPD?
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
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 History and Physical
- Diagnosis of COPD
- Diagnosis of Chronic Bronchitis
- Diagnosis of Emphysema
- Diagnosis of Bronchiectasis
- Diagnosis of AAT Deficiency
- Pulmonary Function Tests
- Factors That Influence Spirometry
- Chest X-ray
- CT of the Chest
- Complete Blood Count
- Arterial Blood Gases
COPD Complications and Comorbidities
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.
- Overview of COPD Complications
- Picture Gallery of COPD Complications
- Common COPD Comorbidities
- COPD Exacerbation
- Bacterial Pneumonia
- Secondary Polycythemia
- Respiratory Failure
- Cor Pulmonale
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- COPD and Diabetes
- COPD and GERD
- Hot Weather and COPD
- COPD and Anesthesia
- COPD and Heart Failure
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.
- Overview of Differential Diagnoses for COPD
- Bronchiolitis Obliterans
- Diffuse Panbronchiolitis
- Pulmonary Tuberculosis
- Obstructive vs Restrictive Lung Diseases
Distinguishing Between Asthma and 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?
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.
- Understanding COPD
- Understanding Emphysema
- Understanding Chronic Bronchitis
- Understanding Bronchietasis
- Free COPD E-Course
- Answers to FAQ
- Top COPD Myths Debunked
- 5 Things You Should Know About COPD
- Signs and Symptoms of a Lung Infection
- When To Call the Doc About Your Symptoms
- Take the COPD Quiz
- 23 Common COPD Triggers
- The Effects of COPD on Women
- How to Interpret Your Spirometry Test
What the Heck's Going On In Your Lungs?
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.
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 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.
- Are COPD Clinical Trials Right for You?
- Types of Clinical Trials
- Phases of Clinical Trials
- Where to Find COPD Clinical Trials
- 15 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About COPD Clinical Trials
What About COPD Life Expectancy?
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.
- Factors Associated With COPD Life Expectancy
- The BODE Index
- The MMRC Dyspnea Scale
- The 6-Minute Walk Test
- Can COPD Be Reversed?
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.
- What Bothers You Most About the Term "End Stage" COPD?
- Have You Ever Participated in a COPD Research Study?
- What Was the Cause of Your Most Recent COPD Exacerbation?
- What Symptoms Led to Your COPD Diagnosis?