Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > COPD: Handling a Flare-Up
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 respiratory tract 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
When you have a COPD flare-up, your normal symptoms suddenly get
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:
Call 911 if:
After treatment, most people recover.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKen Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital