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COPD Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms may include breathlessness, wheezing, chronic cough, rapid breathing, barrel chest, and using upper chest muscles and neck to assist breathing.

People with COPD find even minimal exertion can bring on breathlessness leading to a general fatigue. Most people take their breathing for granted but for those with emphysema every breath can be an effort.

A diagnosis of COPD is confirmed by a lung function test (spirometry).  The test is usually performed before and after administration of bronchodilator (reliever) medication. The degree of improvement or lack of improvement in lung function following reliever medication is used to assess the severity of the condition.
COPD is confirmed if there is very little or no improvement in lung function following bronchodilation, hence the term irreversible airway disorder.

COPD may also be confirmed by x-ray.

How can the Buteyko programme help relieve the symptoms of COPD / Emphysema? »

"I was diagnosed with moderate to severe COPD.  I started a course with Glenn White on the Buteyko breathing method and immediately started to improve..."

Read Kevin's feedback here »

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Helping people with breathing disorders since 2001

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