Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease that threatens lung function , patients may experience symptoms such as dyspnea, feeling breathless, fatigue and lack of physical strength. Some patients experience difficulty breathing after walking or exercise, while others simply sit down and do nothing, and may still have difficulty in breathing and therefore begin to gasp.

What is COPD?

COPD covers a wide range of pulmonary diseases, as well as symptoms of lung insufficiency, including Emphysema and Chronic bronchitis, many patients have these two conditions combined, which is the origin of the name COPD. In addition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic disease that worsens over time, making it difficult to recover. However, although it cannot be completely cured, the patient can reduce the number of dyspnea and slow down the deterioration of the condition through the help of a doctor.


Symptoms of COPD in early stages are often misdiagnosed as daily fatigue or poor health condition. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will not be diagnosed until the symptoms become apparent and severe. The following are the most common symptoms of pulmonary disease.

Breathable and difficult to breathe.
The chest is tight, chest pain.
Often cough.
Excessive sputum in the respiratory tract and lungs.
Often tired.
Repeated respiratory infections.
There is no reason for weight loss.
Sounds of asthma when coughing.

Current article: Breathing Difficulties? Severe Symptoms of COPD

How does chronic obstructive pulmonary disease disrupt lung function?


The air bag in patients with emphysema will overinflate and cause damage to the airway wall. Then, it can interfere with the exchange function of providing oxygen to the cells of the body and carrying carbon dioxide, causing the lungs to be unable to save and move enough oxygen. You can feel tired, have sudden asthma attack and breathing difficulties due to insufficient lung capacity to provide you with the oxygen you need to complete your daily activities.


When the bronchial is inflamed, the mucous membranes of the inner bronchi are stimulated by excessive secretion of mucus and chronic inflammation of the surrounding tissues, causing dyspnea or cough. Over time, chronic bronchitis leads to thickening and loss of elasticity of airway walls, unable to exclude excessive mucus and clogging the airway, making breathing very difficult. Your breathing frequency increases, your breathing is fast and shallow, and you are more likely to feel tired.


There are many ways to measure dyspnea. Modified Medical Research Council including improved respiratory dyspnea indicators used by many doctors Dyspnea Scale, MMRC), plus baseline dyspnea index (BDI) and respiratory oxygen chart (Oxygen cost diagram, OCD).

According to studies, improvement of dyspnea indicators has proven to be relevant to various tests of lung function, or other indicators of dyspnea, improving the degree of dyspnoea index directly assesses patients and assesses patients The degree of incapacity caused by dyspnea is a clinically useful tool for judgment. The disadvantages are the lack of assessment of other physical impairments to improve the indicators of dyspnoea, and the lack of coverage of the affected parts of the patient’s daily life and physical and mental health. The improved dyspnea index is divided into 5 steps, with the mildest level 0 to the most severe level 4. These five items are:

MMRC0: dyspnea is only felt during intense exercise.
MMRC1: Shortage of breath is felt when walking fast on flat roads or on small slopes.
MMRC2: Difficulty in breathing when walking on the flat road, and walking slower than a typical speed. Having the need to stop walking in order to take a breathe even when walking at a normal speed.
MMRC3: Walking about 100 meters on flat road and requiring to stop in order to breathe every few minutes.
MMRC4: Unable to go out due to dyspnea, or feel dyspnea even when simply changing clothes.

How to prevent dyspnea?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cannot be completely cured. Although medical treatment can only slow down the disease, it can not stop the development of pulmonary disease and death. However, with medications, methods and assistive tools, you can reduce dyspnea and tiredness and maintain normal daily activities as much as possible.


Many patients with pulmonary disease avoid exercise due to fear of dyspnea, but in practice exercise is much more useful for patients with pulmonary disease. Exercise can help your lungs become stronger, increase your lungs, increase your muscle endurance, and reduce the chance of developing dyspnea. Just be careful not to overexercise and discuss with your doctor a fitness plan that does not pose a health threat.

Breathing exercises

Breathing specialists will teach you how to keep your breath smooth during exercise and also teach you how to adjust your breath in case of dyspnea.

Stop bad habits

Smoking is the main cause of pulmonary disease. As long as you quit smoking, the symptoms of pulmonary disease are immediately relieved. You should try again even if you have an unsuccessful experience of quitting smoking before. Many people repeatedly quit smoking a few times to succeed, and after quitting you will live longer and live healthier.

Breathe clean air

In addition to smoking smoke, other pollutants in the air can also burden your respiratory tract and lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. Try to avoid emissions from cars, chemicals contained in paint, and cleaning products with strong odor that can cause your pulmonary disease.

Read: COPD Patients at Risk of Fatal Hypoxia