Many people do not experience COPD symptoms until they have already had significant damage to their lungs. A persistent cough is typically the first symptom to develop and shortness of breath with activity develops later in the conditions. COPD is progressive, meaning that it gets worse over time, especially in those who do not quit smoking.
Symptoms of COPD include the following:
- Chronic cough
- Increased sputum production, with possible change in color and consistency
- Shortness of breath
- Recurrent lung infections
Weight loss and cyanosis are later symptoms. Cyanosis is defined as a bluish-purple coloration of the finger, toe, and lips due to decreased oxygen in the blood.