COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a lung disease where the patients experience breathlessness initially and then exacerbation and serious other issues at an advanced stage. According to a WHO report in 2015, almost 3 million people had died of COPD which was almost 5% of total death in that year. With the changing lifestyle, eating habit and polluted environment, the cases of COPD has been increasing in leaps and bounds. Smokers and aged people are at higher risk of getting COPD than the others. So, understanding the early signs of COPD is essential to check the progress of the disease and lead a normal life.
7 Early Warning Signs of COPD
Here are the most predictive signs of COPD, knowing these signs can save a person from becoming a chronic COPD patient and reduce the risk of exacerbation:
Frequent Coughing Throughout the Day:
People who do not have COPD may cough every now and then. Frequent coughing is the most primary sign of COPD; such tendency increases noticeably in the dusty or polluted area. Coughing frequency in COPD patients will be high during spring time also. Coughing increases while lying down at night.
Thickness and Color of Mucus as the Early Warning Sign of COPD:
The color and thickness of mucus that comes out at early morning tell a lot regarding the presence of COPD. If it is thick and yellowish it is coming out from the lungs. If it contains blood, then also it may be coming out of lungs. Frequent coughing and then such mucus is the early warning sign of COPD.
Short of Breath:
The next most obvious early warning sign of COPD is shortness of breath or breathlessness. The COPD-affected person may need to sigh frequently, especially doing any physical work like exercises, doing house chores, or gardening, etc. A COPD patient feels more pressure on the chest while lying down completely.
Headache or Dizziness:
At morning, after waking up, the COPD-affected individual may feel a headache or some sort of uneasiness in the head throughout the day. As the transportation of oxygen and carbon-dioxide reduces remarkably, dizziness is also possible at the early stage of COPD.
Trouble in Falling Asleep:
This is another important early warning sign of COPD but it can’t occur alone. The sleeping disorder may occur in other diseases too, like sleep apnea. Frequent coughing and breathing obstruction may cause a troubled sleeping.
Excessive Tiredness Can Be An Early Warning Sign of COPD:
COPD patients cannot work for a long time. Even paper works may be tiresome to them. As sufficient oxygen doesn’t reach the muscles and brain, no work seems interesting to the COPD patients.
This is another early warning sign of COPD. If there is no apparent reason for steady weight loss, and the concerned person eats normally, then the weight loss can be due to COPD. In this disease, the lungs and heart need to work more and burn more calories than actually needed in a normal person.
COPD doesn’t develop all of a sudden. It takes some years to develop. If precaution can be taken at an early stage the symptoms can be controlled effectively. So, understanding the COPD symptoms and then consulting a specialist doctor is necessary. If the patient or their family members experience the problems and can describe the symptoms precisely, the doctor will be able to take necessary measures through proper medications. It will help the COPD patient to live an active life and breathe easily.
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