Lung Infections and COPD - Topic Overview
When you have
COPD, it’s easier for you to get lung infections like
pneumonia. If you are still smoking, the risk may be
even higher. COPD causes your airways to get
narrower. That makes it harder for your lungs to clear out
mucus. And that mucus makes an inviting home for the
germs that cause lung infections.
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infections also cause more shortness of breath and coughing when you have COPD
than they would otherwise.
If you have COPD and
symptoms of acute
bronchitis or pneumonia, you should see your
Symptoms of acute bronchitis
A change in the amount,
color, and consistency of the mucus you cough up. The mucus may be clear,
yellow, or green. Small streaks of blood may be
present. A mild fever, usually less than
101°F (38.3°C). A general feeling of tiredness
(malaise). A sensation of tightness, burning,
or dull pain in the chest under the breastbone that usually is worse when
you breathe deeply or
cough. Whistling noises (wheezing) when
you breathe, especially during physical exertion. Symptoms of pneumonia include: A cough, often producing
discolored mucus (sputum) from the lungs. Mucus coughed up from the lungs may
be green or rust-colored or tinged with blood. A
fever, which may be less common in older adults.
Shaking chills (just once or many
times). Rapid, often shallow,
breathing. Chest wall pain that is often made worse when
you cough or
inhale. A rapid
heartbeat. Fatigue or vague feeling of weakness
(malaise). Shortness of breath.
You may need to take antibiotics and other
medicines to prevent the problem from getting