There is no routine screening for COPD. However, many people do not know they have COPD until they have serious symptoms. If you have risk factors for COPD, talk to your doctor.
Prevent COPD before it starts
The best way to prevent COPD is to quit smoking, or, if you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. If you smoke, talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit.
If you have trouble quitting smoking on your own, consider joining a support group. Many hospitals, workplaces, and community groups offer classes to help people quit smoking. Ask your family members and friends to support you in your efforts to quit.
Also, try to avoid lung irritants that can contribute to COPD, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, dust, and secondhand smoke.
For more information about how to quit smoking, visit the Smoking and Your Heart page and Your Guide to a Healthy Heart. Although these resources focus on heart health, they include basic information about how to quit smoking. For free help and support to quit smoking, you may call the National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).