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People with COPD usually have one or more of these symptoms:
Please note that feeling short of breath is not a normal sign of aging. Talk to your health-care provider if you are short of breath when doing everyday activities like walking up the stairs.
Smokers and former smokers are at a higher risk of developing COPD. If you are over 40 and smoke or used to smoke, take this quick test to screen for symptoms of COPD:
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, see your health-care provider to be assessed for COPD. Your health-care provider may send you for a lung function test called “spirometry”.
To diagnosis COPD, your health-care provider will ask you questions about your health history. Some of the questions may include:
Spirometry is the most reliable way to diagnose COPD. It is a simple breathing test that measures the speed and the amount of air you are able to blow out of your lungs. If you are short of breath doing simple tasks, ask your health-care provider about sending you for a spirometry test. Your health-care provider may also refer you for other pulmonary function tests.
A chest x-ray may be useful to show some signs of COPD and to rule out other disorders, but should not be used to confirm the diagnosis of COPD.
This test measures the amount of oxygen in your blood using a clip that goes on your finger, toe or earlobe