I have heard people talk about different stages of COPD - what does that mean?? And how do you know what stage you are in????
I really don't want to know the numbers...it might depress me and I won't work quite so hard at exercising and trying to do a little more each time.
There are generally four stages: mild, moderate, severe and very severe. There are at least three different standards: GOLD, ATS and COPD Foundation, which only uses three. Where you are depends on your FEV1, how many exacerbations you've had in the last year and your general ability to do things and be active. Staging is mostly for docs who don't know that much about COPD and gives them guidance as to best practices in regard to prescribing treatments for COPD. It's not very useful for patients; what's really important is how you feel and how well you can function in your daily life.
@A MyCOPDTeam Member - google COPD gold standard or stages, and a chart should come up showing FEV1 and FVC ranges for each stage.
My FEV1 was 33%, so I was "severe" and just at the end of Stage 3. My FEV1 is currently 25%, "very severe", and I've slid into Stage 4.
I go back and forth between "severe" and "very severe" depending on weather, pollen count, humidity, etc.
If your doctor doesn't give you a copy of your breathing tests, ask him or her to do so, and have them explain why they won't if they won't. Some doc's withhold this information as they don't want to scare you / depress you, and as they want you feeling your best regardless of what the numbers say.
Hope this info helps.
My lung doc said based on FEV levels (I googled it...something to do w/ the ability to breathe out & my testing range is the worse) I'm a last stage 4. BUT! He told me too, don't get hung up on the #'s...that I'm doing better than some in stage 2 because I'm not overweight, I don't smoke, and I am still working which gives me plenty of exercise.
I would like to know the numbers, one reason I asked to see my lung doctor.. Hopefully they will run another PFT on me. The last one some 7 year's ago I was at stages. It has motivated me to exercise more each day. It might make it hard to breathe but I am gonna keep my lifestyle I had just a little slower now...
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