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    COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Symptoms

    When you have COPD:

    • You have a cough that won't go away.
    • You often cough up mucus.
    • You are often short of breath, especially when you exercise.
    • You may feel tightness in your chest.

    COPD exacerbation

    Many people with COPD have attacks called flare-ups or exacerbations (say "egg-ZASS-er-BAY-shuns"). This is when your usual symptoms quickly get worse and stay worse. A COPD flare-up can be dangerous, and you may have to go to the hospital.

    Symptoms include:

    • Coughing up more mucus than usual.
    • A change in the color or thickness of that mucus.
    • More shortness of breath than usual.
    • Greater tightness in your chest.

    These attacks are most often caused by infections-such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia-and air pollution.

    Work with your doctor to make a plan for dealing with a COPD flare-up. If you are prepared, you may be able to get it under control. Try not to panic if you start to have a flare-up. Quick treatment at home may help you manage serious breathing problems.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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