Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is sometimes misdiagnosed as Congestive Heart Failure

It has been reported that some patients have been misdiagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, when in fact the correct diagnosis in their specific case was Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

COPD is a slowly progressive disease that cannot be cured. COPD is divided into stages depending on the damage to the lungs. Treatment is mainly focused on lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking. Getting regular flu and pneumococcal vaccine as well as pulmonary rehabilitation. Diagnosis will start with a review of the medical history and risk factors such as exposure to cigarette smoke or chemicals. Pulmonary function tests such as spirometry are ordered. Chest CT scans and X-rays can detect emphysema which is one of the main causes for COPD.

Always consult your doctor or health professional, and do not self diagnose.

Symptoms can include:

Shortness of breath when active, wheezing or squeaking while breathing, chest tightness, persistent cough, coughing up lots of mucus, frequent colds or flu, blue fingernails, low energy, weight loss, swollen ankles or feet or legs

Symptoms are a guideline only and may apply to either the diagnosis or the reported misdiagnosis, or both. Consult your specialist for further information.

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