There are four stages of COPD, and severe COPD is the final stage of the disease. A person in the final stage of COPD has severe airflow limitation and is short of breath after just a little activity. During this last stage complications like respiratory failure or signs of right-sided heart failure may develop. At this stage, the quality of life is greatly impaired and the worsening symptoms may be life-threatening.
When your COPD symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend several treatment options. Some of these treatments may include one or more inhaled bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, and oxygen therapy.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended. There are two main types of surgery for COPD that is severe. These include a lung transplant or a bullectomy.
(Click COPD Stages and COPD Treatment for more information on the final stage of this condition, including possible symptoms and complications, as well as treatment options that your healthcare provider may recommend.)