What Are COPD Symptoms?
Many people don't recognize the symptoms of COPD until later stages of the disease. Sometimes people think they are short of breath or less able to go about their normal activities because they are "just getting older." Shortness of breath can be an important symptom of lung disease. If you experience any of these symptoms, or think you might be at risk for COPD, it is important to discuss this with your doctor.
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea)
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
- Producing a lot of mucus (also called phlegm or sputum)
Remember: Don't wait for symptoms to become severe because valuable treatment time could be lost. Early detection of COPD is key to successful treatment.
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed December 13, 2017.
Page Last Updated: March 13, 2018