COPD Stage 1
About this stage in the disease process
About COPD Stage 1
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease that typically increases in severity over time. The least severe form of the disease is COPD Stage 1. This stage is also called mild COPD, and the symptoms and treatments are the least aggressive.
Given that the symptoms are minor, many people do not seek treatment for the disease immediately.
Lung Capacity in COPD Stage 1
A major sign that a person has COPD is the capacity of his or her lungs is decreased. Due to constant inflammation of the airways, COPD patients struggle to breathe properly. They have difficulty blowing out air with any force, and the overall volume of air they can hold in their lungs is diminished. The forced expiratory volume test (FEV1) is essentially the volume of air that can be blown out in the first second of exhaling. Another significant test is the forced vital capacity (FVC) test, which measures lung’s volume capacity. When measuring lung capacity, a common statistic is a combination of the two tests called the FEV1/FVC ratio. This number essentially represents the percentage that the lungs can breathe out of the quantity of air inhaled. A healthy person has a FEV1/FVC ratio of or around 80 percent. Thus the lower the FEV1/FVC ratio the more significant the disease.
COPD Stage 1 is categorized by a FEV1 test score that is greater than or equal to 80 percent and a FEV1/FVC ratio of less than 70 percent.
Symptoms of COPD Stage 1 are:
- Chronic coughing
- Sputum: coughing up mucus
- Dyspnea: breathing discomfort
- Shortness of breath
Treatment of COPD Stage 1
Patients that seek medical assistance from a physician are occasionally prescribed a short-acting bronchodilator to help increase airflow to the lungs. Given the major damage done by smoking with COPD, a plan is always recommended. Likewise, it is also recommended to monitor environmental factors to keep dust, air pollution and other particles out of the lungs.