Request a Quote
English Arabic French Russian

Life Expectancy of Patients with COPD

COPD means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

As per the studies conducted by WHO (World Health Organization), nearly 65 million people suffer from moderate to severe form of COPD. More than 3 million people have died due to COPD in 2005, which was 5% global deaths. It is estimated that COPD is going to be the 3rd leading cause of worldwide deaths.


What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder?

COPD is a relatively wider term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma. The most significant character of this condition is breathlessness.

Emphysema - This is a condition in which the tiny air sacs of the lungs are damaged. The walls are stretched, increasing the size of the lungs and making it harder for air to move in and out. The inhaled air gets trapped inside the alveoli for a long time such that the next time you inhale more air cannot get into the alveolar sacs.

Chronic bronchitis - This is caused by inflammation of the breathing tubes in the lungs. The cilia (the tiny hair-like structure that keep the airways clean) are damaged making the airways swollen and clogged. This limits the airflow in and out of the lungs.

Refractory or non-reversible asthma - This kind of asthma do not respond well to the medications. The airways get permanently tighten and swollen up.


What causes COPD and what are the risk factors?

Inhaling pollutants - Most of the COPD cases happen due to tobacco smoking such as cigarettes, pipes, cigars etc. and second-hand smoking. Though everybody who smokes does not get COPD, most of the COPD cases have a smoking history.

COPD most commonly occurs in people with 40 years of age or above.

Environmental fumes - People with long term exposure to harmful pollutants in the workplace including lung irritants, chemicals, dust or fumes can cause COPD. Also, long term exposure and contact with secondhand smoke or other lung irritants at home like cooking fuel can also COPD.

Genetic causes - The most common genetic risk factor for emphysema is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. The deficiency causes harm to the lungs with White Blood Cells.


Signs and symptoms

Most common signs and symptoms of COPD include,

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Wheezing

  • Short breath

  • Chronic cough with mucus

  • Cyanosis of lips or fingernail beds

  • Frequent respiratory infections

  • Post nasal drainage

  • Unintended weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Swelling in ankles, feet or legs


appearance of normal lungsappearance of lungs with COPD


Diagnosis of COPD

When you approach a pulmonologist, he/she will take a detailed case history. It is important to tell your doctor about all your past illnesses, family history, and any other medical information. Following tests are also advised to diagnose COPD that include:

  • Lung Function Test - This test measures the amount of air the lungs can inhale and exhale and if the lungs are delivering enough oxygen to the blood.

  • Spirometry - This is a widely used test. The patient is asked to blow into a large tube connected to a small machine known as a spirometer. This measures the amount of air the lungs can hold and the speed with which the air can be blown out of the lungs. Spirometry is used to track the progression of the disease and it can also diagnose COPD even before it manifests the symptoms.

  • Chest X-ray - This helps in diagnosing emphysema, one of the main causes of COPD. A chest x-ray also helps to rule out lung problems and heart failure.

  • CT scan - This is used to detect emphysema and also check if surgery is required. Other than this, the CT scan is also used to diagnose lung cancer.

  • Arterial blood gas analysis - This tests the ability of the lungs to bring oxygen in the blood and remove carbon dioxide.

  • Laboratory tests - Certain lab tests are used to check if there is any deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency which may be a cause of COPD. This is usually done if a person has a family history of COPD.


How is COPD treated?

Quit smoking - This is the most imperative step in treating COPD. The patient must take the help of a doctor regarding nicotine replacement products and medications.



Following type of medications are usually recommended to the patients by the doctors. These are listed below:

Inhalation steroids - Sometimes, the doctors prescribe corticosteroids medications to reduce the inflammation in the airways. These medications help in frequent aggravation of the symptoms. A few examples are fluticasone and budesonide.

Bronchodilators - The bronchodilators help in the relaxation of muscles of the respiratory airways. As a result, symptoms like shortness of breath and cough are relieved. Bronchodilators are either short-acting such as albuterol, levalbuterol, ipratropium etc or long-acting like salmeterol, formoterol, indacaterol etc.

Antibiotics - Infectious diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza are treated with the help of antibiotics. This is done to prevent the exacerbations of COPD.


Breathing therapies

  • These include oxygen therapy which includes providing supplemental oxygen to assist the patient in breathing. Depending upon the severity of the illness, the oxygen supplementation can be used all the time or while doing physical activity and while sleeping.

  • The other therapy is known as the Pulmonary rehabilitation program which includes a combination of counseling, exercise, nutrition, and education done by a team of specialists as per your needs.


Surgical options

Bullectomy - There are large spaces formed in the lungs when the air sacs get destroyed. The spaces are very large and make breathing difficult. Bullectomy involves removal of these spaces to improve the airflow.

Lung Volume Reduction Surgery - The damaged portion in the upper part of the lungs is removed to create extra space in the chest cavity for the rest of the lung to expand. The diaphragm also works more efficiently.  

Lung Transplant - This is the ultimate surgical option for cases where the entire lung has been damaged. However, according to some of the best lung doctors in India the surgery has high risks and complications such as immune organ rejection by the body.  


Share Articles

Need Help?

Just let us know. We will be happy to assist you

I need visa invitation letter.

After submitting the form, check your email for instructions to share patient information and medical reports.




About Vaidam

Patients from 60+ countries have trusted Vaidam


Why Vaidam


NABH Certified Healthcare Discovery Platform

Vaidam is NABH certified healthcare discovery platform that will connect you to top-notch medical experts, hospitals, wellness options, and trusted travel partners in India to help identify and make the right healthcare choices.

Researched & Personalized Treatment Plan - Under One Roof

You can search for the best hospitals in India to treat cancer and ailments of the heart, bones or kidney, read about them, view photographs of the facilities at the hospitals and the places at which the hospitals are located, and check the cost of treatment.

Quality Treatment Within Your Budget

As soon as you post an enquiry, the patient relation team will collect details from you, share them with the doctors and hospitals on Vaidam's panel, and get a personalized treatment plan. We research to get quality treatment within your budget.

Treatment to Travel

Vaidam concierge assists patients, to get medical Visa to travel to India, the best airline fares and arrangements for your stay. Our concierge also helps you with daily travel, language, and food concerns. Vaidam does everything to be your perfect host in India. All of Vaidam’s services are free of cost to patients.

Pan-India Reach

If you are looking for medical care in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad or Ahmedabad, Vaidam Health has a network in each of those cities.

Vaidam News


Vaidam Health gets the prestigious NABH accreditation

Vaidam Health gets the prestigious NABH accreditation

Read more

Vaidam Media - Medical Travel Today

Vaidam Health Coverage by Medical Travel Today - The Authoritative Newsletter for Medical Tourism

Read more

Vaidam Health YourStory News

Vaidam Health gets covered by 'Your Story', India's Leading Online Magazine

Read more

Know how it works in less than 90 secs

View More Updates




Note: Vaidam Health does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The services and information offered on are intended solely for informational purposes and cannot replace the professional consultation or treatment by a physician. Vaidam Health discourages copying, cloning of its webpages and its content and it will follow the legal procedures to protect its intellectual property


Browse the website in:   English     Français   Русский     العَرَبِية



Thank you. We will contact you soon.