What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases causing an inflammatory reaction and irreversible damage to the lungs. They cause obstruction of airflow and difficulty breathing. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common diseases that makeup COPD. It’s a lifelong disease with periods of flare-ups. It negatively impacts the quality of life and longevity.
What is the prognosis of end-stage COPD?
What happens in COPD?
During inhalation, air travels through the nose and/or mouth into the trachea (windpipe). The trachea further divides into two tubes called bronchi, which opens into the lungs. Within the lungs, the bronchi branch out into smaller tubes called bronchioles. The end of the bronchioles opens into little air sacs called alveoli, which aid in gaseous exchange. The alveoli are surrounded by blood vessels, through which the exchange of gases, oxygen, and carbon dioxide takes place.
Exposure to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) triggers leads to the collection of different types of white blood cells and inflammation-causing chemicals in the lungs. This leads to tissue swelling, damage, and increased mucus secretion in the airway and air sacs.
Emphysema is a disease of the alveoli (air sacs). There is irreversible damage to the alveoli, making them less elastic. There is decreased exchange of gases, leading to decreased oxygenation in the body (hypoxia). Eventually, patients have severe breathing difficulties.
Chronic bronchitis is a disease of the bronchus (tubes that enter the lungs). The trachea can also be involved. Inflammation due to irritants causes inflammation, leading to an increase in the number and size of mucus-secreting glands. There is also damage to the cilia (small hair-like structures located in various parts of the body) to help clear mucus. There is decreased clearing of mucus that accumulates and thickens, causing airway obstruction. Long-term inflammation also leads to airway narrowing.
What are the signs and symptoms of end-stage COPD?
The signs and symptoms and severity depend on the stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and they worsen during flare-ups. There are four stages of COPD:
- Stage I: Mild COPD
- Stage II: Moderate COPD
- Stage III: Severe COPD
- Stage IV: Very severe COPD (End stage)
Signs and symptoms of stage I:
Symptoms are mild and often missed, but damage to the lungs begins.
Patients may only present with constant shortness of breath on exertion.
Signs and symptoms of stage II:
Symptoms are more severe than stage I, and there a mild impact on the quality of life. Patients present with
- Persistent cough with mucus, which may be worse in the morning.
- Shortness of breath even with mild routine activity.
- Wheezing on exertion.
- Disturbed sleep.
Signs and symptoms of stage III:
Stage III has a bigger impact on the quality of life.
Symptoms in stage III worsen considerably. In addition to that, patients present with
- Frequent respiratory tract infections.
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, and legs.
- Tightness in the chest.
- Trouble taking a deep breath.
- Wheezing and other breathing issues when doing basic tasks.
Signs and symptoms of stage IV (end-stage COPD):
This is the final stage of COPD. This occurs after years of continuous damage to the lungs. Patients have worsened symptoms of stage III and frequent flare-ups that could be fatal. Patients have very poor quality of life.
Patients also present with
Latest Health and Living News
Daily Health News
How is COPD caused?
Tobacco smoking: This accounts for 90% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk.
How is COPD treated?
It is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options and to get answers to all of your questions.
- Short-term and long-term bronchodilators (inhalers)
- Oral steroids or steroid inhalers
- Medication to clear thin mucus and clear the airway
- Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to other irritants
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Oxygen therapy
- Surgery in severe cases, for example, lung transplant may be required
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top End-Stage COPD: Signs, Symptoms, and Prognosis Related Articles
What Is Bronchiectasis?Bronchiectasis has three types: cylindrical bronchiectasis, saccular or varicose bronchiectasis, and cystic bronchiectasis. Causes of bronchiectasis include infection, environmental exposure, drug or alcohol abuse, and alpha-1 antitrypsin (congenital). Symptoms of bronchiectasis include shortness of breath, fatigue, chronic cough, bloody sputum, and wheezing. Treatment for bronchiectasis includes antibiotics and possibly surgery.
Bronchitol (mannitol)Bronchitol is a prescription medicine that is used along with other therapies to improve lung function in people 18 years of age and older with cystic fibrosis (CF) who have passed the Bronchitol Tolerance Test (BTT). Serious side effects of Bronchitol include sudden breathing problems and coughing up of blood (hemoptysis).
Can People With COPD Get Better?Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not curable in any stage of the disease. With early diagnosis and treatment, disease progression and flare-ups can be controlled.
Can Someone with COPD Still Have Sex?COPD is a condition that leads to blockage of the airway. COPD may lead to sexual dysfunction, but you can still have sex with COPD.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, and/or air pollutants. Conditions that accompany COPD include chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, and emphysema.
Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough. Treatment of COPD includes GOLD guidelines, smoking cessation, medications, and surgery. The life expectancy of a person with COPD depends on the stage of the disease.
COPD QuizCOPD is a combination of three conditions? Take this quiz to learn the three conditions that make up the pulmonary disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Energy Foods for COPDWhat are COPD foods to avoid that may trigger symptoms? Learn more about the COPD diet. Boost your energy and combat COPD with these diet tips.
COPD Lung SymptomsCOPD is a pulmonary disorder caused by obstructions in the airways of the lungs leading to breathing problems. Learn about COPD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
COPD vs. Asthma (Differences and Similarities)COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma both have common symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. COPD is caused by tobacco smoking, while asthma is caused by your inherited genetic makeup and their interactions with the environment. Risk factors for asthma are obesity, exposure to cigarette smoke (even secondhand smoke), and personal history of hay fever. There is no cure for either disease, but symptoms can be managed with medication. A person with asthma has a better prognosis and life expectancy than someone with COPD.
COPD vs. EmphysemaCOPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the term doctors and other healthcare professionals use to describe a group of serious, progressive (worsens over time), chronic lung diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and sometimes asthma. The number one cause of COPD or emphysema, is smoking, and smoking is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Exercises for COPDThe more you exercise, the better you'll feel with COPD. Breathe easier with these 10 exercises from WebMD.
Ofev (nintedanib)Ofev is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), to treat people with a chronic (long-lasting) interstitial lung disease, and to slow the rate of decline in lung function in people with systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) (scleroderma-associated ILD). Serious side effects of Ofev include liver problems; diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting; heart attack; stroke; bleeding problems; and tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (perforation).
ProAir Respiclick (albuterol sulfate)ProAir Respiclick is a prescription medicine used in people 4 years of age and older to treat or prevent bronchospasm in people who have reversible obstructive airway disease prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm. It is not known if ProAir Respiclick is safe and effective in children under 4 years of age.
Trelegy Ellipta (fluticasone furoate)Trelegy Ellipta is indicated for the maintenance treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in patients aged 18 years and older. It NOT indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm. Trelegy Ellipta combines 3 medicines in 1 inhaler, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) medicine (fluticasone furoate), an anticholinergic medicine (umeclidinium), and a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicine (vilanterol).
What are the Four Stages of COPD?COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a group of diseases that cause an inflammatory reaction and irreversible damage in the lungs. The result is obstruction of normal airflow and breathing difficulties. COPD is a lifelong condition with periods of flare ups, and is not curable in any stage of the disease. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common diseases that make up COPD.
What Is BiPAP Used For?A bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine is a noninvasive type of ventilation. It is used to help you breathe easier when you have conditions that make breathing difficult like sleep apnea, COPD, asthma, heart conditions and other ailments.
What Is the Normal Range for Blood Gases?Blood gas analysis, also called arterial blood gas analysis (ABG analysis), helps measure the concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. It also helps determine the pH of the blood, the levels of bicarbonate ions in the blood and the oxygen saturation of the blood. The normal range for blood gases are shown in the table.
Zemaira (Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor)Zemaira is an alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (A1-PI) indicated for chronic augmentation and maintenance therapy in adults with A1-PI deficiency and clinical evidence of emphysema.