Life Expectancy of Someone with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a progressive disease that reduces your ability to breathe without complications. COPD is a classification for a group of diseases that can cause symptoms like breathlessness and coughing. More than 32 million Americans suffer from these symptoms as a result of airflow obstruction. As the tiny air sacs in your lungs are not able to stretch and shrink to their original capacity as a way to transfer oxygen to your blood your organs will not receive the oxygen they need to function properly.

What is the life expectancy of someone with COPD?

Due to the serious effects COPD has on your lungs, it leads to problems throughout your body. The disease has four different stages and can be diagnosed at different points throughout, so your life expectancy depends on which stage you are in. Of every 100 people diagnosed with COPD, 40 to 70 will still be alive after five years. COPD is progressive, gradual and can’t be completely cured. You can seek medical treatment to slow the disease and help decrease your discomfort.

How is COPD treated?

To maximize your life expectancy after you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the doctor can make the following suggestions for your treatment plan:

* Quit smoking
* Breathing exercises and training
* Use vitamin and nutritional supplements
* Nutritional counseling
* Energy conservation therapy
* Psychological counseling or therapy

The doctor may use the following medications to help treat your symptoms of COPD:
* Steroids to reduce airway swelling
* Antibiotics to treat infections
* Vaccinations
* Medications to reduce the mucous plug
* Oxygen therapy
* Inhalers or bronchodilators to relax the airway muscles

Depending on your specific case, the doctor may suggest removing the diseased area of the lung or even a lung transplant operation to help you cope with your severe COPD.

What are the signs and symptoms of COPD?

While the early stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may not have any symptoms, you will start to notice some or many of these symptoms:

* Wheezing
* Shortness of breath
* Pain or discomfort in your chest
* Nagging cough or smoker’s cough

As the disease moves into the later stages, you will notice these more serious symptoms:

* Disorientation
* Feet and ankle swelling
* Weight loss
* Blue or gray color in your fingernails and/or lips
* Gasping for breath
* Heart palpitations or feeling like your heart is skipping beats
* Respiratory failure

Which tests do physicians use to diagnose COPD?

In order for your doctor to be able to diagnose you with COPD, the doctor will first take a complete medical history including any history of lung disease. The doctor will review your tobacco use and smoking history. You need to include any history of repeated and regular exposure to chemicals, dust, and pollutants. The doctor will use computed tomography of your lungs and chest x-rays to note visual changes and spirometry to test your lung function. Arterial blood gas will help indicate the oxygen level in your blood and pulse oximeters can give the doctor an instant read.

Main Cause of COPD