Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure both cause difficulty breathing. For people who have both COPD and heart failure, identifying the cause of breathing symptoms can be challenging.
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.
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