About Stage 1 COPD Treatment
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease that typically increases in severity with time. The least severe form of the disease is Stage 1 COPD. This stage is also called mild COPD, and the symptoms and treatments are the least aggressive of all of the stages.
Given that the symptoms are fairly minor, most people do not seek treatment for the disease immediately.
Lung Capacity in Stage 1 COPD
A major sign that a person has developed COPD is the capacity of his or her lungs have decreased. Due to regular inflammation of the airways, COPD patients struggle to breathe efficiently. 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 important 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.
Stage 1 COPD 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.
Stage 1 COPD Symptoms:
- Chronic coughing
- Sputum: coughing up mucus
- Dyspnea: breathing discomfort
- Shortness of breath
Stage 1 COPD Treatment
Patients that seek medical attention from a physician are sometimes prescribed a short-acting bronchodilator to help increase airflow to the lungs. Given the major damage done by smoking with COPD, a cessation plan is always recommended. Some physicians won’t even treat patients that continue to smoke tobacco products. Likewise, it is also recommended to monitor environmental factors to keep dust particles, air pollution and other small items out of the lungs.