Signs & symptoms
To figure out if you have COPD, your doctor may do one or many of these diagnostic tests:
Ask questions about your health history
You doctor may ask:
- What is your smoking history?
- Do you suffer from shortness of breath?
- What makes your shortness of breath worse?
- Do you cough?
- Do you bring up sputum (phlegm, mucus), and if so, what does it look like?
- What is your family history of lung disease?
Spirometry and other lung function testing
Spirometry is a common and effective diagnostic test that can easily be done in your doctor's office or at a nearby hospital or clinic. You will be asked to blow, as long and hard as you can, into a small tube attached to a machine. The machine measures how long it takes to blow out all the air from your lungs. The more blocked your airways, the longer it takes to blow the air out. Spirometry is the most reliable way to test your lungs for COPD.
Find a lung testing clinic near you, where you can take a spirometry test and other lung function tests.
The x-ray will help the doctor see if there is damage to your lungs.
This test measures the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood.