The Stages of COPD:
Mild COPD or Stage 1—Mild COPD with a FEV1 about 80 percent or more of normal.
Moderate COPD or Stage 2—Moderate COPD with a FEV1 between 50 and 80 percent of normal.
Severe COPD or Stage 3—Severe emphysema with a FEV1 between 30 and 50 percent of normal.
Very Severe COPD or Stage 4—Very severe or End-Stage COPD with a lower FEV1 than Stage 3, or people with low blood oxygen levels and a Stage 3 FEV1.
There are other factors that can put you in a different stage, but this is one of the more accurate measurements. Other factors include: shortness of breath, while resting or under exersion, sputum production, number/frequency of flare ups, number of hospitalizations for exacerbations, weight gain/loss, Alpha 1 antitripsin defeciency.
Life expectancy is also hard to predict because there are so many factors that can effect it and it depends what YOU do/don't do to help yourself..... like quit smoking, invest in air conditioning/air filtration in the home, get rid of your pets (yes, that can help), exercise, do dee[ breathing exercises, and something most people don't think about...... volunteer for clinical trials. Also, ask your doctor questions, educate yourself, go to conventions, start a support group, and talke to your friends about your condition.
I am NOT a health care provider, MD, nurse.... I AM a patient that doesn't like surprises.
Breath easy and enjoy life.
To all COPD patients, pass this on to your team. Do join COPD Foundation!! Look for events. Example... there is a two day convention in Rosemont IL on 7/28-29 at the Hyatt Regency. The first day is for patients and the cost is only $10!!!! It is chuck full of useful info and help. The second day is more for care givers, but I am attending. Information is a very helpful tool when dealing with COPD.
Waterboy gave a good answer of the stages. Where you are depends on which standard your doc uses or you use. All of the current ones use the FEV1 plus exacerbations to determine stages; a couple also consider your activity level.
Symptoms include cough, sputum production, wheezing, shortness of breath on exertion or at rest, color of sputum, fatigue and anxiety/depression.
I found the explanation a great help. It gives us a thorough in site to the stages that we all will be going through thank you.
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