Living with COPD

Symptoms of COPD

People can experience COPD in different ways depending on which symptoms trouble them most and how severe they are. COPD is a progressive illness meaning it has several stages of severity. It tends to creep up on people slowly. This means it can often be several years before symptoms reach a level that will make the sufferer go to the GP. Symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are often attributed to getting older.

Mild COPD
Frequent coughing sometimes with mucus (phlegm)
Mild breathlessness from physical work or brisk walking

Moderate COPD
Coughing becomes more frequent and more mucus is produced
Breathlessness occurs more often from activities such as physical work or brisk walking
A cold or chest infection can last for several weeks

Severe COPD
Increased coughing and production of mucus
Difficulty breathing
You can no longer go to work or carry out household chores
Difficulty climbing a stairs or crossing a room
Tire very easily

The earlier COPD is diagnosed and treated the greater the chance of preventing it developing into severe COPD!