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When a loved one has COPD or another chronic lung disease, knowing how to balance taking care of them and yourself can be difficult. This page provides helpful resources for caregivers including guides on helping your loved one quit smoking and how to take time out of your day for yourself.

If you’ve just been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you may have a lot of questions. This page is a great resource for learning about all aspects of the disease including talking to your doctor, flare-up signs and symptoms, and disease management.

If you have a chronic lung disease, you know that staying healthy plays an important part in managing your symptoms and overall well-being. The right exercise methods, diet, and other techniques can help you stay healthy with chronic lung disease and get you back to doing the things you love.

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Is Your COPD Getting Worse? 3 Red Flags

By Do More With Oxygen

Tue, Jan 28, 2014

Make sure to heed these warning signs of COPD progression.Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is progressive, meaning as time goes by it gradually worsens. According to the European Lung Foundation, the following are warning signs you need to tell your doctor about, as they could indicate that your COPD is getting worse.

Changes to Tell Your Doctor About

You should contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

• Increased shortness of breath
• More mucus production
• Swollen legs and feet
• Coughing up blood
• Chest pain when you breathe
• Excessive drowsiness
• Mood swings

Experiencing these conditions may cause concern. Other than keeping your doctor informed, here’s a look at how to handle some of these changes in your condition, according to the European Lung Foundation.

Increased Shortness of Breath

If you feel short of breath more often than you used to, do the following:
• Remain calm.
• Use your emergency inhalers.
• Begin emergency treatment or follow the advice of your self-management program.
• Implement relaxation breathing techniques.
• If you have oxygen, use it all day, but don’t change the amount your doctor prescribed.
• When you move around, do so more slowly.

More Mucus Production

You may notice you're coughing up more mucus than usual. It may change color or thicken, which makes the mucus harder to get out. To thin the mucus, the COPD Foundation suggests drinking more water throughout the day and asking your doctor about using over-the-counter cough medicine.

Swollen Legs and Feet

Swelling in your lower extremities can occur as your COPD worsens. If this happens, rest and keep your feet propped up. Be sure to tell your doctor about the problem if it persists for more than three days.

Habits That Make You Feel Worse

According to the European Lung Foundation, you're more likely to experience these symptoms of worsening COPD if you:

• Continue to smoke
• Fail to take your medication or oxygen as directed
• Don’t keep appointments with your doctor for regular evalution
• Skip daily exercise
• Fail to sort out other illnesses

To learn more about slowing the progression of COPD, download this free guide from DoMoreWithOxygen.com today.

Free Download: Staying Healthy with COPD

Photo Credit: Joe Christainsen

Topics: COPD 101, is my copd getting worse, living with copd, chronic lung disease

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