17 Warning Signs of COPD Exacerbations

17 Warning Signs of COPD Exacerbations

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you’ll know just how much a flare or exacerbation can affect you. Knowing when an exacerbation is about to occur is key and recognizing the early warning signs can make a big difference in how quickly you can be treated. Quick treatment can help you get over a flare faster and hopefully keep you out of the hospital. Working with your healthcare team, you can devise a plan of action whereby you know when you need to seek help and what first steps to take to treat an exacerbation before it becomes too severe.

MORE: Nine important dos and don’ts for people with COPD

Here are some of the early warning signs of an exacerbation according to the COPD Foundation and WebMD.

  • Coughing more than you normally do
  • Wheezing more than you normally do
  • Gurgling or rattled breathing
  • Experiencing more shortness of breath
  • Experiencing more shallow breathing or rapid breathing
  • Producing more mucus than usual
  • Change in the color of the mucus from clear to green, yellow, tan or bloody
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Swelling of the ankles and/or feet
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blue tinge to lips or fingertips
  • Skin yellowing or graying
  • Difficulty talking
  • Headaches first thing in the morning
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain

MORE: 10 questions for your doctor or nurse about COPD

COPD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Wendy is a proven blogger and social media manager who has helped to build online communities for businesses and organizations. She currently heads the website’s social outreach online through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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Wendy is a proven blogger and social media manager who has helped to build online communities for businesses and organizations. She currently heads the website’s social outreach online through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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