Since COPD is progressive, it develops in different identifiable stages. Learning how to identify the symptoms of emphysema will help you know when you need to seek medical assistance. Medical professionals will review your symptoms as part of diagnosing which your stage of emphysema.
The symptoms of emphysema include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Bluish hue to the lips or fingernail beds
The symptoms you experience may depend on the progression of your disease. In earlier stages, you may not experience as much fatigue. Factors like age, health and smoking habits factor into how rapidly your emphysema might progress.
What are the stages of emphysema?
The stages of emphysema are measured by the GOLD system. The GOLD system determines the severity of your emphysema by the following:
- Assessing the severity of your symptoms
- Measuring your ability to breathe out – this is done by measuring your FEV1, which records the amount of air you can breathe out in one second.
- Determining the rate at which your symptoms are progressing.
Emphysema exists in four primary stages. By following the GOLD system, your medical professional will likely categorize your emphysema in one of the following:
- Mild – Your FEV1 score is around 80 percent capacity.
- Moderate – Your FEV1 score is between 50 and 80 percent capacity.
- Severe – Your FEV1 score is between 30 and 80 percent capacity.
- Very Severe – Your FEV1 score is below 30 percent.
No matter which stage of emphysema you may be diagnosed with, you can still get treatment. Emphysema is an incurable disease, but treatments can help you experience a better quality of life and Breathe Easier™.
At the Lung Health Institute, we develop natural treatments that empower your body to fight lung disease. Our Lung Restoration Treatment™ uses a concentrated form of your own blood cells to target lung infection and help reduce inflammation.
Would you like to discover your treatment options at the Lung Health Institute? Contact us today to speak with one of our patient coordinators about setting up an appointment.