The condition or disease of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD as it is commonly called is progressive in nature making it very complex and often difficult to diagnose until the later stages of it. When the flow of air into the lungs and out from it is obstructed, the disease is known as COPD. This blockage of airflow makes it very difficult for the people to breathe and you all know what can happen, if the lungs do not receive air supply for a long period of time.
When it comes to the causes of COPD, one of the primary causes are smoking along with long term exposure to pollutants in the air and also genetics play an important role. However, COPD and its severity is usually assessed with the various stages of it. It can go from mild to an end stage.
Different stages of COPD:
COPD has mainly 4 stages which range between mild to severe.
The way to determine the stages of COPD is through the BODE index and also the GOLD Staging System.
The GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disorders) the measurement of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) is done with the help of conducting a pulmonary function test. This along with the symptoms of COPD is taken into consideration to determine the stage of COPD which you might be at.
The BODE Index stands for the body mass, obstruction of airflow, dyspnea which is difficulty in breathing and also exercise capacity. This index is used by doctors to determine the stage of COPD, the severity of the symptoms and how it affects your daily routine.
However, the stages of COPD are not always accurate especially when the symptoms are taken into consideration as the condition affects everyone differently. But, since the disease in progressive in nature, the symptoms worsen as time goes by. It is hence very important to consult with your doctor or you can visit us at Sunshine Hospitals so that we can assess your symptoms, determine the stage and treat you accordingly.
The stages of COPD are:
Mild Stage COPD: This is the first stage of COPD where the symptoms do not show as such hence people do not know that they have this condition at that time. There are slight limitations to breathing but that does not stop them from getting on with their daily activities. Some people might have mild cough and phlegm.
Moderate Stage COPD: In this stage, people often experience more cough that normal along with excess mucus production. Due to the increased levels of the symptoms, people often consult with doctors, if you don’t, the symptoms tend to worse. Once you visit a doctor, he or she might recommend pulmonary rehabilitation where they help you breathe and function better as the limitations of breathing, can affect your daily activities. This program of pulmonary rehabilitation facilitates exercise, education and support to achieve better function of the lungs.
Severe Stage COPD: In this stage, COPD affects the daily life and activities of a person to a great extent and reduces the quality of life. The function of the lungs deteriorate even more and breathing becomes more difficult.
Very Severe or End Stage COPD: This stage of COPD can become life threatening due to the flare ups and the extreme difficulty in breathing. Most people in this stage have extremely low oxygen in the blood which might lead to hypoxia and other problems.
These stages of COPD are dangerous since the start and if you experience even the slightest indications of this condition, visit your doctor as soon as possible because being a progressive disease, it can rapidly affect your body and cause it to decline.
About The Doctor:
Dr Laxman Babu is our Consultant Pulmonology, Interventions & Sleep Medicine. With his training in rigid Bronchoscopy from Aix Marseille Universite, France and specialization in Endo bronchial ultrasound (EBUS), cryotechnique from sir Ganga Ram hospital, Delhi, there’s no doubt in the fact that he is one of the most sought-after pulmonologists in the city. To add to that, he also has training in sleep medicine from the International Institute of Sleep Sciences, Mumbai. He also has been trained in Flexirigid & Rigid Thoracoscopy. He takes special interest in interventional pulmonology, pleural diseases and asthma.
About the Hospital: