Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to a life threatening disease that affects the lungs and lasts a lifetime. COPD has no cure or any form of treatment that restrains its progression. The best a person can do is adapting a healthy lifestyle that prevents the worsening of the disease such as quitting smoking and treating any other health infections as these highly influence COPD life expectancy.
If you are coughing frequently, often feel a tightening of the chest and experience an inadequacy of breath while performing normal tasks such as walking up the stairs or hill, then you should see your doctor since these are among the primary symptoms of COPD. It is important to note at this point that millions of people who have the disease are not aware of their condition, yet the earlier the diagnosis, the higher the chances of prolonging COPD life expectancy. One thing is for certain though, this disease shortens your life span, with the average life expectancy being five years if the patient takes precautionary measures to managing the disease. On the other side of the coin, not engaging in a lifestyle that tries to slow down the lung damages will reduce your life expectancy by two years.
However, many medical specialists insist that a general method of gauging the impact of COPD on a person’s lifespan has not yet been established. Well, that along with the factor that COPD prognosis varies significantly between one patient and the next. Studies are still ongoing to provide an overall, favorable and reliable method of determining COPD life expectancy. In general, the severity of this disease in any one patient definitely shortens his or her life expectancy: The more severe the disease, the lesser the life expectancy. One of the ways researchers have invented to determine COPD life expectancy is staging the disease, which can be determined via two different methods (GOLD system and BODE index).
A person with stage one COPD has a lifespan of a normal person, so the earlier the diagnosis the better for you But only if they take the necessary lifestyle changes that prevent the disease from progressing to a higher stage. Those with stage two and three, have a lifespan expectancy of five years or more depending on the intensive treatment or the rehabilitation measures they engage in Unfortunately, for those on the last stage of the disease, stage four, have very little time to live regardless of any lifestyle changes or treatments they may undertake. Chronic disease such as diabetes, heart problems and HIV reduce the patient’s lifespan.
Factors That Help Improve COPD Life Expectancy
As had been aforementioned, COPD has no cure and last for a lifetime but an earlier diagnosis may help increase your life expectancy, here are factors that will help you achieve this
• Quit smoking
• Non- smokers should avoid any second hand smokes or any irritants such as chemicals, harmful fume sand dust.
• Engage in regular exercises to improve your breathing.
• Maintain good nutrition and a healthy body weight.
• Treat any secondary infections and get vaccinated if possible for infections such as the flu.