How to Diagnose COPD

Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011 02:41 PM

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a term used to describe several lung diseases that block a person’s airflow upon exhalation.

COPD is one of the leading causes of illness and death throughout the world because it hinders the free exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs.

There are many factors that can cause COPD, but the leading cause is excess exposure to irritants like chemical fumes, smoke, air pollution, and dust.

Some of most common COPD symptoms include chest tightness, difficulty breathing, chronic cough, and wheezing. Unfortunately, these COPD symptoms do not typically manifest until after significant lung damage has already taken place.

The delayed appearance of certain COPD symptoms makes COPD diagnosis a bit of a challenge, and most COPD patients consult a doctor only after the symptoms start interfering with their daily lives.

Proper COPD diagnosis involves a CT scan, chest X-ray, sputum examination, analysis of arterial blood gas, and pulmonary function tests. According to COPD guidelines, people who are at a high risk for acquiring COPD should regularly undergo these tests to aide in early detection.

For more information on COPD, see below:

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