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What Does Stage II COPD Mean?

stage 2 copd, stage ii copd, copd stagesAs chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) worsens, the flow of air to and from your lungs gets increasingly limited making it gradually more difficult to breathe. Once you’ve reached Stage II COPD, otherwise known as moderate COPD, your lung function becomes reduced to between 50% and 79% of the predicted normal.[1]  What else should you expect during State II COPD?

What to Expect in Stage II COPD

At this stage, you’re probably just starting to notice COPD symptoms, particularly shortness of breath that worsens with activity. You may also notice your cough is getting worse and you have more mucus than you usually do.[2]

In the first stage of the disease, you may not have noticed any symptoms or you may have associated them with smoking or something else entirely. You’re not alone. Many people miss the early signs of COPD. That’s why it’s usually during Stage II, moderate COPD that most people become troubled by their symptoms and seek medical attention.2

Diagnosing Stage II COPD

As with other stages of COPD, to make a diagnosis of Stage II, moderate COPD, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your health and smoking history. She’ll similarly want to know about your exposure to other airway irritants, such as dust or chemical fumes in the workplace. You’ll also take a spirometry test, a simple breathing test that confirms a diagnosis of COPD and tells your doctor what stage you’re in. There are 4 stages of COPD, from mild to very severe.2 As we mentioned above, you’ll have Stage II, moderate COPD if your forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) – one of the measurements taken during a spirometry test – is between 50% and 79 percent.1 You may also get other diagnostic tests, such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, blood tests and exercise tests that will reveal more information about your lung function and the impact COPD has had on other parts of your body.2

Treatment for Stage II COPD

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) has recommended treatment guidelines for every stage of COPD. As the disease progresses, additional treatment options may be added to your treatment plan to help better manage your symptoms.

To follow are GOLD treatment guidelines for moderate COPD:

  • Smoking cessation – the single most important aspect of COPD treatment. Quitting smoking in the early stages of the disease can dramatically slow the progression of the disease allowing you to live a longer, happier life.3
  • Flu and pneumonia vaccines – recommended for every stage of COPD. Flu shots reduce your risk of COPD exacerbation, a period of time when your symptoms worsen. Pneumonia vaccines help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia, a common cause of COPD exacerbations or flare-ups.1
  • Short-acting inhaled bronchodilators – commonly referred to as rescue inhalers. Recommended for all stages of the disease to relieve sudden-onset dyspnea (shortness of breath).[3]
  • Long-activing inhaled bronchodilators – recommended as maintenance therapy for moderate, severe and very severe COPD. Taken on a daily basis to decrease symptoms and reduce the risk of COPD exacerbations.3
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation – recommended for all patients with COPD. Combines a program of education and exercise that provides COPD patients with many benefits, including improved symptoms, increased exercise tolerance and prolonged survival.3
  • Healthy nutrition – a commonly overlooked, but important part of COPD treatment. Healthy eating helps people with COPD look and feel, breathe easier and may even reduce the risk of lung infections that lead to COPD exacerbation.

For more information about Stage II COPD, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, talk to your primary care provider or pulmonologist. 

[1] Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). GOLD 2018 Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of COPD.

[2] Stage II (Moderate Stage) COPD. WebMD. Last reviewed February 14, 2018.

[3] Ferguson, Gary T. Maintenance pharmacotherapy of mild and moderate COPD: What is the Evidence? Respiratory Medicine. 105, 1268-1274.

12 thoughts on “What Does Stage II COPD Mean?”

  1. Avatar Datemasch Dorothy says:

    Thank you for keeping up with this disease…and for keeping me in the loop. There is so much out there to keep people informed. Thanks!

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Dorothy, You are welcome. Thank you for your comments; we will keep posting more useful information. Have a great day!

  2. Avatar Charles Hutchinson says:

    Thank you for all the info you us! I don't know what life would be like if I did not have the Inogen one 4! I love this machine!!

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Thank you Charles! We are very pleased to hear that the Inogen One G4 has been a life changer for you!

  3. Avatar Linda Jackson says:


  4. Avatar James Ferraro III says:

    I contacted the lung institute. They say the stem cells work. I want to try it.

  5. Avatar Edmund says:

    What kind of doctor can right the RX for an Inogen? My primary care doctor diagnosed me so can she just right the RX or does it need to be a specialist? Under this current situation of covid 19 no new patients or being taken but I really need machine and will pay cash!

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Edmund,
      Totally understandable that you don't want to go see a specialist right now.
      Please call us at 800-695-7915 and we can assist you with this process. Your PCP should be able to assist w/the prescription. We can fax it to your PCP directly, so please call us.

  6. Avatar Rhonda L Hitt says:

    I want to know more about what Stage 2 of COPD means

  7. Avatar Alonzo W jones says:

    Can I please have as much free information on COPD. I have stage two. Last test 79% lung test. I've had a left lung lobectomy (lung caner). Im a vet, but va is useless. Been reading on the internet. Please help, I'm on spiriva 1.2, symbicort, nebulizer, rec. Inhaler. Thank you.

  8. Avatar James says:

    My 34 year old heavy smoker (of more than just tobacco) and heavy drinking friend has been diagnosed with stage 2 COPD and is convinced he won't see 40. If he quits smoking and makes other positive lifestyle changes what are is chances of making it to the 40

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi James,
      Is your friend on medical oxygen yet? If not, please call us and we can send your friend an informational guide. I think a lifestyle change is the first step and then the medical professionals can assist. We have several articles in our blog that discuss healthy habits and dietary triggers for COPD.
      Please call us, fill out an info guide request form or begin a chat session on our website today.

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