Getting a COPD diagnosis can be a long and bumpy road for some people. We surveyed MyCOPDTeam members from Australia and New Zealand about their experiences of becoming diagnosed with COPD. We saw three general themes comes up:
The path to a COPD diagnosis is often complicated.
While 43% report that they were diagnosed with COPD after only one visit to a doctor, another 34% needed two or three appointments, and 23% needed four or more appointments before diagnosis.
There are usually multiple symptoms present at diagnosis.
Members reported an average of 4 symptoms present at the time of diagnosis. Shortness of breath was the most common symptom at the time of diagnosis: 87% reported having it. Other symptoms included low energy, wheezing, respiratory infections, chronic cough and excess mucus or phlegm.
Most diagnoses were not done by a specialist.
Only one third of respondents were diagnosed by a COPD specialist. Half were diagnosed by a general doctor and another third were diagnosed at the hospital.
What was your experience of becoming diagnosed with COPD?