Home > COPD: Handling a Flare-Up
If you have
COPD, your usual shortness of breath could suddenly
get worse. You may start coughing more and have more mucus. This flare-up is
called a COPD exacerbation or a COPD attack.
A lung infection or
air pollution could set off an attack. Or it may happen after a quick change in
temperature or being around chemicals. You may not always know the
What are the warning signs?
When you have a COPD flare-up, your normal symptoms suddenly get
Don't panic if
you start to have a flare-up. If you are prepared, you may be able to get it
under control. Work with your doctor to make a plan for dealing with a COPD
Take your medicines as your doctor says:
Call 911 if:
After treatment, most people recover. They have the same
amount of shortness of breath they had before the flare-up.
November 29, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
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