Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that constricts airways and causes difficulty breathing. With this condition, one may be concerned with life expectancy. What is COPD life expectancy? What is the life expectancy for COPD stage 4? Is stage 4 COPD life expectancy survivable? In this post, we will review what you need to know about COPD stages and life expectancy.
Life expectancy with COPD can get complicated so first, we will take a look at the symptoms. These symptoms usually don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred and they usually worsen over time. These symptoms include:
Shortness of breath, namely during physical activities
Difficulty taking a deep breath
Frequent wheezing and coughing
Frequent respiratory infections
Excess phlegm and sputum that may appear yellow, green, or white
Lack of energy
Unintended weight loss in the later stages
Swelling in the legs, feet, and ankles
Some common causes of COPD include:
Smoking. Direct smoking and secondhand smoke is the main cause of COPD and is thought to be responsible for 9 in 10 cases.
Fumes and dust at work. Exposure to dust and chemicals such as cadmium dust and fumes, coal dust, grain and flour dust, isocyanates, silica dust, and welding fumes have been known to increase the chances of COPD.
Air pollution. While research is still continuing on this, it is believed that prolonged exposure to air pollution can cause COPD.
Now that we know more about the causes of COPD, we can finally review life expectancy with COPD. What is severe COPD life expectancy? What is mild COPD life expectancy? We’ll review that in the next section.
Stages of COPD Life Expectancy When Smoking
We are now ready to review the life expectancy for COPD in each stage while smoking. What is the life expectancy of COPD? The life expectancy of COPD varies depending on the stage one is in. Below, we will review all stages of COPD life expectancy, including end-stage COPD life expectancy. According to a study, these years typically account for the drop in life expectancy for men over age 65 who smoke.
COPD Life Expectancy: Stage 1
Stage 1 COPD life expectancy is 0.3 years.
COPD Life Expectancy: Stage 2
Stage 2 COPD life expectancy is 2.2 years.
COPD Life Expectancy: Stage 3
Stage 3 COPD life expectancy is 5.8 years. The same study also found that female smokers lost about five years of their lives at this stage.
COPD Life Expectancy: Stage 4
COPD stage 4 life expectancy is 5.8 years. The same study also found that female smokers lost about nine years of their life at this stage.
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Now that we know more about life expectancy for COPD, we can take a look at treatment methods. Below are a few effective treatments.
Quit smoking and avoid tobacco smoke. This is the most important part of treatment.
Take medication. Medications can treat symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
Use supplemental oxygen. A portable oxygen tank may be necessary if blood oxygen levels are low.
Take steps to avoid lung infections. Flu vaccines, pneumococcal vaccines, and antibiotics can be especially beneficial. Ask your doctor for the best method(s).
Ask about pulmonary rehabilitation. Consult your doctor about this personalized treatment program, which can include advice on improved breathing, food, and exercise advice.