Diagnosis COPD

The diagnosis COPD is based on the patient’s symptoms and the results of pulmonary function tests.

Degree of Severity FEV1 / FVC FEV1 nominal 100% Symptoms

1 (mild)

< 70% >80% with/without symptoms
(cough, sputum)
2 (moderate) < 70% 50-80 % with/without chronic symptoms
(dyspnoea, cough and sputum)
(serious) < 70% 30-50 % with/without chronic symptoms
(dyspnoea, cough and sputum)
(very serious) < 70% < 30% or
< 50% and chron. respiratory insufficiency
quality of life noticeably impaired, exacerbation can be life-threatening

FEV1Forced expiratory volume in one second. The maximum amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled within one second

FVC =Forced vital capacity. The lung volume between maximum inhalation and maximum exhalation

In all patients with severe chronic bronchitis or COPD, heart rate variability (HRV) is reduced. This means that the regulatory capacity of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic, parasympathetic) is limited. As the disease progresses and severity increases, the HRV declines even further, resulting in a vicious downward spiral.

Note: Heart rate variability is recorded using ECG measurement technology and is scientifically recognized.

Possible causes of COPD and chronic bronchitis:

  • Years of smoking and associated damage to the lung tissue
  • Passive smoking
  • Long period of residence or work in a dusty environment
  • Long term stress (permanent sympatheticotonia) based on a perceived constant fear of death (before war, not getting enough air/oxygen, religious causes, etc.)
  • Persistent asthma
  • Infections of the respiratory tract in childhood can be the trigger in later years (due to fear of suffocation felt at the time, a fear of death that is reactivated in later life with increased severity)

You can find detailed information about Oxygen Energy Therapy for COPD in our COPD Compendium, which you can also download as a PDF.