Learning about COPD

LEARNING ABOUT COPD

  • Awareness of the condition and its triggering (causative)factors. Learn to recognize the sign and symptoms of COPD and record them in a diary to see the progress of disease. If you know about the triggering factors causing your problem you can help prevent your condition from getting worse.
  • Learn to recognize the warning signs of COPD. It is very important to know when your symptoms are getting worse to avoid any serious complications. Any change or increase in the symptoms could be the first warning sign.

You may have:

    • Increase or decrease in the quantity of the mucus.
    • Increase or decrease in thickness or stickiness of the mucus.
    • Change of mucus color to green or yellow or if there is any presence of blood.
    • Increase in severity of difficulty in breathing, wheezing or cough.
    • Swelling of the ankles.
    • Confusion and forgetfulness with unclear speech and drowsiness.
    • Difficulty in sleeping.
    • To sleep with head raised on the pillows.
    • Unexplained increase or decrease in weight.
    • Increased feeling of tiredness.
    • Increased morning headache, dizziness and restlessness.

As soon as you observe any of these meet your doctor to determine the appropriate treatment.

  • Know when to call the doctor : Severe respiratory symptoms should be considered as an emergency.

Hence call your doctor :

    • Immediately if there is confusion, slurring of speech or sleepiness during an acute airway infection.
    • Within 6-8 hrs if the symptoms (shortness of breath and wheezing) do not respond to bronchodilator treatment even after one hour.
    • Within 24 hours if :
      • The change in color, amount, and thickness persists.
      • Swelling of ankle continues even after a night of sleeping with your feet up.
      • You awaken at night due to shortness of breath more than once.
      • Fatigue lasts for more than one day.