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COPD Screening: The 5 Best Screening Methods and Why You Need One Now

1 Sep 2016
| Under COPD, Disease Education, Medical | Posted by | 7 Comments
COPD Screening: The 5 Best Screening Methods and Why You Need One Now

COPD screening could mean delaying COPD progression, which can go a long way towards improving quality of life.

For many adults aged 50 and older, there is an inherent risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other forms of lung disease—particularly in those who have a history of smoking, a chronic cough, if they’ve worked in a polluted environment or have a history of lung disease within their family. As we’ve mentioned before, time can be a critical factor in addressing COPD and other lung diseases. In order to mitigate further disease progression, it’s crucially important to seek treatment immediately upon diagnosis, and the first step is through getting a COPD Screening.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to break down the importance of COPD screening and provide the 5 best methods for COPD screening and why you need one now.

Why Should I Get a COPD Screening?

It is, unfortunately, common for many who suffer from COPD to be unaware that they have the disease. From what can seem like the natural process of aging (consistent cough and labored breathing), COPD can quickly develop into a progressive lung disease that threatens to affect the routine aspects of daily life. Whether you’ve noticed a slight change in your breathing, excessive fatigue or a consistent build-up of mucus, it’s better to be safe and proactive in addressing these symptoms by consulting with your doctor for a COPD screening.

The 5 Best Methods for COPD Screening

5. Spirometry

As the most common form of COPD screening, similar to blowing out birthday candles, spirometry is the easiest and quickest evaluation method and can be performed in nearly any doctor’s office. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, it is recommended that spirometry be used for people who smoke, have smoked or have symptoms related to COPD.

Performed by placing a clip on your nose and being asked to breathe into a mouthpiece for a given period of time, the spirometry test will show whether you have normal airway function or are expelling air more slowly than expected. In the case of the latter, this is indicative of chronic airway obstruction.

4. Chest X-Ray

In the case of emphysema, COPD and other lung diseases, an x-ray of the chest can show a great deal regarding the look and function of the respiratory system. An x-ray can also be used to eliminate other lung problems such as heart failure. For diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), an x-ray can reveal multiple cysts within the lungs, denoting areas of end-stage fibrosis and internal injury.

COPD Screening: The 5 Best Screening Methods and Why You Need One Now

3. CT Scan

A CT scan is in many ways a more comprehensive look inside the lungs compared to the chest x-ray. Used primarily to view the extent of damage to the lungs, the traditional CT scan involves laying down flat on an exam table and having the lungs fully scanned. This type of scan works to show both acute and chronic changes within lungs’ parenchyma—the internal components of the lungs.

2. Arterial Blood Gas Analysis

The arterial blood gas analysis is a blood test that measures your lungs ability to bring oxygen into your blood and remove carbon. By analyzing the acidity (pH) and levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the blood, the test is used to determine the functionality of your lungs in moving oxygen throughout the body. After drawing blood from an artery, the blood is then tested to measure these chemical elements in order to determine lung health and the efficacy of current treatments.

1. Laboratory Tests

Although the traditional laboratory test isn’t used to diagnose COPD, it can be incredibly helpful in determining the cause of a patient’s symptoms, and whether the disease has been brought upon genetically, through smoking or through environmental conditions. Lab tests are able to deduce whether a patient has alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAt) deficiency, and whether it may be the cause of the patient’s COPD.

COPD Screening: The 5 Best Screening Methods and Why You Need One Now

What Can I Do About it?

Although a diagnosis of COPD can seem insurmountable, the first step to living a longer life getting a COPD screening and finding a treatment that addresses the disease head-on. Changing one’s diet and gaining consistent exercise are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. However, if you’re looking to address COPD disease progression directly, it may be time to consider cellular therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, cellular therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life and pulmonary function. For people with lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult cellular therapy options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.

Interested in COPD Screening: The 5 Best Methods and Why You Need One Now? Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. Pingback: Interstitial Lung Disease Prognosis: 5 Steps to Coping | Lung Institute

  2. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your comment. The procedure you are speaking of is called a pulmonary function test, and it is still used to help doctors diagnose lung disease, develop a treatment plan and keep track of how your lungs are doing over time. Pulmonary function tests can be used to diagnose a variety of lung diseases, including COPD. Many pulmonologists recommend pulmonary function tests. Check out our article about pulmonary function tests by clicking here. We aren’t familiar with the Rio Grande Valley, so we recommend talking to your primary care physician about who he or she recommends you see for pulmonary function tests. Because your doctor know you and the doctors in your area well, your doctor will be able to best guide you and recommend a pulmonologist. We hope this is helpful, and we wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  3. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Shalisa,

    Thanks for your question. We recommend speaking with one of our patient coordinators to discuss your questions regarding cell therapy and your lung conditions. Our patient coordinators are happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to hearing from you soon. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Mary,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear of the difficulties you have been facing with COPD. Because of the complexities of your personal health situation, it’s best to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator to discuss your questions. Our patient coordinators have a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment, candidacy and cost, and they are happy to answer your questions. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Anita Brown

    2 years ago

    About 20 years ago I was diagnosed with COPD with a less of 50% of my lung capacity…this was accomplished using something like a sound booth, where I was asked to inhale and exhale and “holding the air in my lungs, etc”. Is this procedure still in use?

    I ask for three reasons:
    one is that the hospital no longer has the results of my tests.

    Two is that I recently went to a new doctor and he said that there is no test for COPD. That and several other things he said led me to cancel future procedures with him because 8 knew I had been tested.

    Three, I would like to be rescheduled for another test since I have progressed significantly since the last test, and I would like to know if there is still such a test….if it is available in the Rio Grand Valley …..and lastly if there is a good physician you can recommend to me here in the valley..
    Thank you

  6. shalisa Freeman

    2 years ago

    I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and sarcordosis have anyone been successfully treated in a case like mine?

  7. Mary ODwyer

    2 years ago

    I am very interested in this stem.cell therapy. I have severe COPD and mouse ma. I am.65 years old and on oxygen. I can still do some thoughts gsthe daily but it’s becoming harder and harder. I cannot stay outdoors in the heat for any lenght on time without having breathing problems. I smoked for many years, I have quit since June 2011 but I’m not getting any better. I also have a small spot they are currently looking at waiting for my appointment with my pulmonary doctor to go.over the CT that was done last week. I am.praying it is not lung cancer but I have recently started coughing and bringing up sticky mucus. How do you quality for this procedure.
    Thank you
    Mary ODwyer

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