Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease, which means it will get worse over time and there is no cure. However, there are several treatments available that help to make the symptoms of this condition more bearable. The condition is often a result of emphysema and chronic bronchitis; the two will reoccur in patients until COPD develops. Over time, the lungs’ air sacs lose elasticity, the air passages become inflamed, and mucus builds up in the lungs. Together, these conditions make it difficult to breathe.
Take a moment to read more about what makes COPD a progressive disease and what treatments are available to you. Contact our team at The Lung Health Institute with any questions you may have.
How COPD progresses
While there is no way to accurately predict life span and prognosis of patients with COPD, doctors will use a forced expiratory volume test to measure the amount of air a patient can forcibly expel in the span of one second (FEV1). From there, the COPD will be placed in one of four stages from the GOLD staging system
- Stage 1: Very mild. Eighty percent normal lung capacity. Symptoms may include coughing, slight airflow restriction or increased mucus.
- Stage 2: Moderate. Fifty to 80 percent normal lung capacity. Symptoms include decreased airflow, shortness of breath, coughing and even more mucus.
- Stage 3: Severe. Thirty to 50 percent normal lung capacity. Symptoms may include severe breathlessness and exhaustion.
- Stage 4: Very severe or “end stage.” Less than 30 percent or Stage 3 with low blood oxygen levels. Symptoms include fatigue and shortness of breath. Flare-ups will often be life threatening.
Treatments for COPD will vary by stage, but may include medications that can reduce the severity of symptoms, like corticosteroids and mucus-thinning medicines; pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, lung transplant or cellular therapy.
Cellular therapy may help treat the symptoms of COPD
Cellular therapy is a treatment option for COPD that may help promote healing from within the lungs to reduce inflammation. Many patients have reported breathing easier and have experienced a better quality of life after undergoing our cellular therapy treatment. Cellular therapy can be given at any stage of COPD, and may help improve lung function, boost energy levels and make it easier to incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle. For more information about cellular therapy, contact the Lung Health Institute today at 855-882-1292.