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2005 - 2015
A COPD Checklist
"I Think I Might Have COPD...."
How Do I Decide If I Need to See A Dr.
Let's be honest shall we? Coughing is NOT normal unless you're ill.
Quite often we "know" or "suspect" something is wrong with the old lungs but frequently we "wait". Guilt, fear, we're still smoking; there's lots of reasons. But; the quicker you get tested (spirometry test) the better. Early detection is the key. Below is a short list of a few things that may suggest to you, or someone you care about, to see a Dr.
One final point.....some people with COPD DO NOT COUGH.
If you answer yes to any one question along with the smoking question, you may have developed COPD. Even if you have had NO symptoms but you're over 40 with a history of smoking, you should still request a spirometry (or Pulmonary Function Test; (PFT)
(Remember, most Dr's have access to this painless, non-invasive, simple test but nationally only 35% of our country's physicians use it. You are going to have to ask for it ESPECIALLY if he wants to give you Ventolin (Blue Inhaler) but said nothing to you about your getting a breathing test.
Are you, or were you, a smoker?
Do you have a chronic cough? (Note: Some people with COPD rarely cough)
Do you have sputum production when you cough and the cough doesn't go away? (Note: Some people with COPD do not produce mucus)
Do you wheeze?
Do you get short of breath easily?
Do you get a lot of chest colds or do they seem to last longer?
Compared to others of your age and sex, do you get "winded" or short of breather quicker when walking or exercising?
Remember; if you answered yes to any one question, along with smoking, you should see your Dr.
IS THIS YOU? "I'll get tested as soon as I quit smoking."
DON'T be one of them! That would be the equivalent of a person suffering chest pains on and off to say..."I'll get my heart checked as soon as I lose some weight or a person with all the symptoms of diabetes to say...."soon as I lose my weight."
This page was last updated December 2013