Advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Advanced COPD is the later stages of COPD. Airflow gets worse, even with treatment. This leads to severe tiredness and problems doing basic tasks.
Advanced COPD is due to more lung damage over time. Damaged tissue makes it harder for oxygen to move into the blood. It also takes extra work to push air out of the lungs. This is often part of normal COPD as it gets worse.
COPD gets worse over time. Things that speed up lung damage are:
Advanced COPD can cause:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and history of COPD. Breathing tests will be done. This may be enough to diagnose advanced COPD.
The doctor may do blood tests and chest x-rays. This can help find infections or other conditions that can make breathing worse. If there is an infection, symptoms may get better once it has passed
The goal is to treat COPD and help ease symptoms. Medicine and oxygen therapy will still be used. However, doses or use may be changed.
Other options to help breathing are:
Occupational therapy and devices may help make tasks easier. This can ease demand on the lungs. It can also help reduce tiredness.
Other options may be:
Advanced COPD cannot always be prevented. Following a care plan and healthy habits can help delay it.
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
College of Family Physicians of Canada
COPD. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/copd. Accessed August 11, 2021.
COPD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/copd. Accessed August 11, 2021.
O'Donnell DE, Milne KM, et al. Dyspnea in COPD: new mechanistic insights and management implications. Adv Ther. 2020 Jan;37(1):41-60.
Palliative and hospice Care. National Institue on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-palliative-care-and-hospice-care. Accessed August 11, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dan Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/11/2021