Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) | Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of COPD?

COPD can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Chronic (long-lasting) cough
  • A cough that produces mucus
  • An increase in respiratory infections (such as flu and colds)
  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activity
  • A tight feeling in the chest
  • Wheezing

At first, you may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. But COPD is a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms start slowly and get worse over time. COPD symptoms develop over the course of many years. Eventually, the symptoms begin to affect your activity levels and quality of life. 

Bibliography

See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 08/12
Created: 08/01

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