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
Don't panic if
you start to have a flare-up. If you are prepared, you may be able to get it
under control. Work with your doctor to make a plan for dealing with a COPD
Take your medicines as your doctor says:
First, use your quick-relief inhaler. If your symptoms don't get better after you use your medicine,
have someone take you to the emergency room. Call an ambulance if
With inhaled medicines, a spacer or a nebulizer may help you get more medicine to your lungs. Ask your doctor
or pharmacist how to use them properly. Practice using the spacer in front of a
mirror before you have a flare-up. This may help you get the medicine into your
If your doctor has given you steroid pills, take them as directed.