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Transcript: "Diagnosing COPD"

Announcer: What does it feel like to have COPD? How does it affect your life?

Peter: Because of the COPD, I have to be aware that I'm going to have to move more slowly, that I will be out of breath more quickly than I used to be. I've always loved gardening. Certain kinds of things that I used to do easily, maybe I need to get someone else to do.

Dorothy: [coughs] Excuse me. I don't want to be laying there coughing all the time. I don't want to be struggling. I don't want to struggle for that breath, and believe me, I've struggled for it. Diane: It's almost like I'd have times where I was just gasping for air. I just -- it's not like I couldn't catch my breath -- I just couldn't breathe. Maybe that's the way of explaining it. I stopped trying to be a rider and became a passenger on the back of his bike.

Announcer: I bet you know people like this. The thing is they started out by just feeling a little short of breath now and then, maybe coughing a bit. Now, if that happens to you, how do you know if it's something you really should be paying attention to? Well, take a look here. Are you constantly coughing, what we often call smoker's cough? Do you get short of breath doing things that you used to be able to do? Do you ever feel like you can't breathe, can't take a really deep breath? Do you find yourself wheezing? Well, all of these are symptoms of COPD.

Edna: You know, it's really important that you talk to your doctor and let him know what you're experiencing. And you should also ask about getting a breathing test called spirometry. It's a simple test that can probably be done in your doctor's office. And I have a video. Spirometry measures how well your lungs function.

Tester: And blow it out. Blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow.

Edna: Your doctor will be able to assess how well your lungs are working and whether or not you have to worry about COPD.

Announcer: So they key here, really is getting diagnosed.

Edna: Absolutely. From there, you and your doctor can come up with a plan to help you breathe easier, relieve your symptoms, and lead a more active life.

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