The main symptoms of COPD are:
Without treatment, the symptoms usually get slowly worse. There may also be periods when they get suddenly worse, known as a flare-up or exacerbation.
See your doctor if you have persistent symptoms of COPD, particularly if you’re over 35 and smoke or used to smoke. Don’t ignore the symptoms. If they’re caused by COPD, it’s best to start treatment as soon as possible, before your lungs become significantly damaged. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and whether you smoke or have smoked in the past. They can organize a breathing test to help diagnose COPD and rule out other lung conditions, such as asthma.
The damage to the lungs caused by COPD is permanent, but treatment can help slow down the progression of the condition. Treatments include: