What is a COPD Flare-Up Anyway?
GOOD QUESTION, BUT IT MIGHT BE MORE HELPFUL TO ANSWER WHAT A COPD FLARE-UP ISN’T FIRST.
You know when you have COPD, you’ve been feeling bad for a couple of days, and you think it might be just a cold? Like experiencing a cough, fatigue, or increased shortness of breath for more than a day? It might actually be a COPD flare-up. When you’re experiencing a COPD flare-up, you may have increased COPD symptoms consistently for a couple of days in a row. These may require immediate attention.
COPD patients often dismiss COPD flare-ups as “part of the disease” and do their best to get through them. Here are some examples of COPD flare-ups:
You should know that while everything above could signal you've had a COPD flare-up, not all flare-ups are equal. Mild COPD flare-ups are those needing treatment with short acting bronchodilators only (SABDs), also known as rescue inhalers. Moderate COPD flare-ups are those needing treatment with SABDs plus oral corticosteroids and/or antibiotics. Severe COPD flare-ups are those requiring hospitalization or visits to the ER, and they may also be associated with acute respiratory failure. You should speak to your doctor if you have additional questions about flare-ups or your current treatments.
Why are COPD Flare-Ups Bad for Us?
Not only can they put you at risk for additional COPD flare-ups and hospitalization for COPD, they could cause permanent lung damage. It can be a constant cycle.
But don’t worry—there’s still hope! Taking a moment to stop and listen to your lungs is the first step in learning more about COPD flare-ups. And they say the first step is usually the hardest!
DID YOU KNOW STUDIES SHOW COPD FLARE-UPS COULD CAUSE PERMANENT LUNG DAMAGE?
Did you know COPD flare-ups may be serious business?
Yes, all the shortness of breath and coughing attacks could be hinting that something like a COPD flare-up is coming, so it’s important you Listen to Your Lungs. Take this quiz to hear more about what they’re saying.
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