Before making accurate diagnosis of COPD your doctor may also inquire about your family history and also medical conditions that you might have suffered earlier besides observing symptoms and carrying out medical tests.
Observing cough in you, your doctor may also like to know whether you are a smoker or not. In addition to this you may be asked whether you were exposed to dusty or polluted air and chemical fumes that caused irritation in your lung.
If you are having an ongoing cough you have to apprise your doctor of how long you have been suffering from it. Also let your doctor know the amount of mucus that comes up while coughing. Your doctor may like to know if you have had any family history of this condition.
Your doctor will carry out check up with the use of stethoscope for listening sounds in your chest. If your doctor hears wheezing or any other abnormal sound in your chest while you breathe in and breath out he or she will suspect COPD.
Moreover your doctor may feel the need for carrying out one or more examinations for diagnosis of COPD.
Lung Function Tests
Lung function tests are conducted to ascertain the amount of air you use in breathing in and breathing out. Lung function tests will also allow your doctor to know about your lung’s performance in delivering oxygen to blood.
Spirometry is one such test for COPD that does not cause any pain. While undergoing this test you will be asked to take a deep breath before blowing into a tube linked with a small machine, called spirometer, up to your capacity. The machine will measure the amount of air breathed out by you besides measuring the pace at which you can blow out the air.
Spirometry can help your doctor know about COPD much before it can show any symptom. This test also lets your doctor know the severity of COPD and give idea about the treatment goals.
Moreover test results may also let your doctor know if symptoms were appearing due to asthma or heart failure.
Lung diffusing capacity test may also be conducted to know the function of your lung.
Your doctor may also feel the need for carrying out X-ray in your chest or CT scan to accurately know the condition of your heart and lungs and symptoms of COPD. CT scan may help your doctor know if heart failure or any other condition is the factor behind the symptoms.
Finally your doctor may recommend arterial blood gas test to measure the amount of oxygen supply to your blood. The test helps determine the severity of COPD.