Initial symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, include frequent coughing and excess production of phlegm and mucus in the lungs, according to WebMD. Coughing may be intense enough to disrupt sleeping patterns, and people with COPD may feel tired and short of breath, even with mild exertion.
Symptoms of COPD are generally mild but worsen suddenly as lung function declines, reports WebMD. Shortness of breath increases as the disease progresses, and people with COPD find it difficult to even get dressed without becoming breathless. Eventually, patients with COPD require oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation to tolerate daily living activities.