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