By: Melody Wilding

Chronic lower respiratory disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma, that cause breathing difficulties and airflow problems.
Today over fifteen million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD and in 2011 the disease was the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
COPD guideUnfortunately the problem is extensive and underestimated – it is thought that another 12 million adults are affected by COPD but may not be aware they have it. 
Since the true prevalence of COPD is grossly underestimated, it’s important to understand the symptoms that accompany the disease in order to be able to intervene early.
What are the stages of COPD?
The stages of COPD are characterized by a measure of lung function, measured by a breathing test called spirometry.  The test shows how much air your lungs can hold and fast you can release air from your lungs. Results are reported as a percentage, with 100% being normal and decreasing amounts representing greater dysfunction...