First Time User? Enroll now.
COVID-19: Vaccine information and additional resources | Medicaid: The program is changing and you must take steps to keep your UNC Health providers
Home > 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 cause.
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.
Current as of:
July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineHasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.