Stage 4 COPD Prognosis
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Prognosis
COPD is a progressive disease that typically increases in severity over time. It is an irreversible disorder for which there is currently no cure. However, there are measures that one can take for a better quality of life. Although this is a dire prognosis, there are ways to combat the disease, and the first step is understanding the progression of COPD in order to understand stage 4 COPD prognosis.
General COPD symptoms include:
-Sputum: coughing up mucus
-Dyspnea: breathing discomfort
-Shortness of breath
From Stage 3 to Stage 4
Stage 3 is when lung function further declines, causing the symptoms listed above to become even worse. Added symptoms at this stage include unintended weight loss and frequent respiratory infections. Additional treatment precautions might be added at this point, including daily medications and participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation class.
In stage 3, exercise is very difficult. Fatigue is increased significantly and quality of life is greatly hindered. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) typically yield results of 30-50 percent at this stage. In stage 1 PFT results are usually 80 percent or more, and in stage 2 results are around 50-80 percent. Stage 3 is when COPD significantly limits the activities that a person can and cannot do, and can be very frustrating for the sufferer.
Eventually the disease will progress into stage 4, the most severe stage. A person in stage 4 of COPD will experience the most reduced quality of life because of shortness of breath. Trouble breathing might even be life threatening during some episodes. PFT results will typically be less than 30 percent. COPD is a serious condition that has a huge impact on a person’s life. Symptoms take a while to develop, and may not be noticeable until the disorder is well developed.
COPD Treatment Options
For those who have been diagnosed with COPD, the main goals of treatment are: symptom relief, slow down decline in lung function, improve daily lung function, decrease number of acute episodes (aka COPD exacerbations) and improvement in overall quality of life. Many COPD sufferers use supplemental oxygen along with daily medications to manage symptoms. For those with more developed stages of COPD, more serious measures like a lung transplant or reduction might be an option. There is, however, a minimally invasive, alternative treatment that helps most lung disease sufferers. Stem cell therapy might help slow the development of lung disease and even improve it. Rather than managing symptoms like oxygen and medications, stem cell therapy harnesses your body’s natural healing abilities, essentially healing the lung tissue. While stem cell therapy is not a cure, it is an effective treatment that might provide lung disease sufferers with a much greater quality of life.
Of course, if you are looking for an alternative treatment for COPD, then the Lung Institute might be able to help! If you or someone you love would like know more about treatment options, feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators today or call (800) 729-3065 today.