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Diagnosing COPD

Early Detection of COPD

It is hard to diagnosis COPD in the early stages. Many times COPD symptoms are ignored or thought to be “just being out of shape” or part of “getting older”. 

Usually, those with COPD will begin to notice symptoms of shortness of breath when they reach their mid-40’s.  However, early signs of COPD (chronic cough and increased mucus production) may be present but are not bad enough to cause concern.

However, the earlier you know you have COPD, the earlier you and your doctor can take steps to improve your lung health and to prevent further damage to the airway. Some measures such as smoking cessation and avoiding respiratory irritants can help you stop the damage to your lungs.


© 2005 American Association for Respiratory Care