If you read our last blog post on identifying COPD swells, you know the signs to look out for when you think a COPD flare up is happening. However, this post will cover the next steps. Now that you know you are experiencing a COPD flare up, this post will help you take the necessary steps.
What to do if you experience a flare up:
1. Don’t panic. Although it might seem scary to experience a flare up, panicking will only make it worse. Heightening your anxiety will only make it more difficult to breathe and will make a bad situation even worse.
2. Use a quick-relief inhaler. Your doctor can prescribe a quick-relief inhaler that will help open your airways as quickly as possible. This will help reduce the duration of your flare up by allowing your lungs more air.
3. Take a steroid pill. Steroids are prescribed by your doctor, and will help quickly fight inflamed areas. These are not for everyone, so talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.
4. Use pursed-lip breathing. Pursed-lip breathing might seem funny, but it will slow your breathing down and keep you calm and relaxed.
5. Continually check your symptoms. If you feel like your symptoms are getting worse, you have chest pain, or you feel like you’re suffocating, you should call 911. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Treating a COPD flare up might seem difficult, but by following these steps you may find it easier to breathe after a flare up. Talk to your doctor about more ways to help treat your COPD and prevent flare ups in the future.
WebMD, Accessed 7/6/2016
Medicine Plus, Accessed 7/6/2016