Managing COPD shortness of breath and flare-ups

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What are COPD flare-ups and how will they affect me?

COPD Flare-ups are periods when COPD symptoms suddenly get worse and breathing becomes more difficult. They can be triggered by infections or other causes like the weather and stress. You can use breathing techniques and other relaxation methods to avoid flare-ups¹⁻³.

What should I do if I experience a COPD flare-up?

Firstly, don't panic. This will only make the flare-up worse. Follow your prescribed therapy plan and try to relax. If your therapy isn't relieving the symptoms ask somebody to take you to the emergency room, or call 911 if you are really struggling to breathe¹∙².

How can I prevent flare-ups & what are the causes of COPD flare-ups?

The most common causes of COPD flare-ups are stress, infections and environmental triggers like air pollution and allergens. It’s vital that you work with your doctor to create an action plan, so you know exactly what to do to treat the symptoms when they surface¹⁻³.

References

1. Web MD. COPD: Handling a Flare-Up - Topic Overview.
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/tc/copd-handling-a-flare-up-topic-overview
Accessed on 5 August 2015

2. Web MD. COPD Flare-Ups - Topic Overview.
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/tc/copd-flare-ups-topic-overview
Accessed on 5 August 2015

3. Healthline. The Link Between COPD Flare-Ups and Stress Management
http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/link-between-flare-ups-stress-management
Accessed on 5 August 2015

4. Web MD. COPD treatments, improving your quality of life. Available at:
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/copd-treatments-improving-your-quality-of-life
Accessed on 19 June 2015

5. American Lung Association. Treatment options.
Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/treating-copd/treatment-options.html
Accessed on 4 August 2015

6. bettersleepandbreathing.com. Exercise and COPD: A Good Combination.
http://www.bettersleepandbreathing.com/post/80221781144/exercise-and-copd-a-good-combination 
Accessed on 20 May 2015

7. bettersleepandbreathing.com. Eating to Breathe Better.
http://www.bettersleepandbreathing.com/post/81409498485/eating-to-breathe-better 
Accessed on 20 May 2015

8. Healthline. COPD: Symptoms and Stages.
http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/stages#Overview1 
Accessed on 6 June 2015

 

For informational purposes only, not to replace physician's directions.