Your doctor will diagnose COPD based on your signs and symptoms, your medical and family histories, and test results.
He or she may ask whether you smoke or have had contact with lung irritants, such as secondhand smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust.
If you have an ongoing cough, your doctor may ask how long you've had it, how much you cough, and how much mucus comes up when you cough. He or she also may ask whether you have a family history of COPD.
Your doctor will examine you and use a stethoscope to listen for wheezing or other abnormal chest sounds.
You also may need one or more tests to diagnose COPD.