Early warning signs of an acute exacerbation are unique to each person. Usually you are the best person to know if you are having sustained breathing problems. However, some changes are more likely to be noticed by other persons. So it is important to share this information with your family and those close to you.
The most common signs and symptoms of an acute exacerbation are:
Worsening of your stable condition
Increased difficulty breathing, even at rest
If your symptoms (cough, mucus, and/or shortness of breath)
suddenly get worse and stay worse, you may be having a
COPD flare-up, or exacerbation. Quick treatment for a
flare-up may help keep you out of the hospital.
Call your doctor soon for an appointment if:
Your medicine is not working as well as it had been.
Your symptoms are slowly getting worse, and you have not seen a
You have a cold and:
Your fever lasts longer than 2 to 3 days.
Breathlessness occurs or becomes noticeably worse.
Your cough gets worse or lasts longer than 7 to 10 days.
You have not been diagnosed with COPD but are having symptoms. A
history of smoking (even in the past) greatly increases the likelihood that
symptoms are from COPD.
You cough up any amount of blood.
Talk to your doctor
you have been diagnosed with COPD, talk with your doctor at your next regular