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If you have COPD, your usual shortness of breath could suddenly get worse. You may start coughing more and have more mucus. This flare-up is called a COPD exacerbation or a COPD attack.
A lung infection or air pollution could set off an attack. Or it may happen after a quick change in temperature or being around chemicals. You may not always know the cause.
What are the warning signs?
When you have a COPD flare-up, your normal symptoms suddenly get worse:
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 attack.
Take your medicines as your doctor says:
Call 911 if:
After treatment, most people recover.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology|
|Last Revised||May 15, 2013|
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