A research published in American Journal of Nursing suggests that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) exacerbations are responsible for deteriorating the functioning of the lungs. As the disease develops, the frequency of these worsening symptoms increases, which makes the lungs function even lesser.
If a person gets the right treatment in time, COPD symptoms may minimize; but there may be some cases where it may worsen instead of getting better. This situation is termed as COPD exacerbations.
The problem with this disease is that usually there are no symptoms until it enters advanced stage. Sometimes there may be mild symptoms which may be overlooked or mistaken for something else. In order to prevent health problems, the following COPD exacerbation symptoms must not be ignored and should be brought to the notice of the healthcare provider:
Severity and frequency of cough may help in determining it as an advancing COPD symptom. It may be dry and may also include bloody phlegm which is yellow or green in color.
Difficulty in sleeping
A person may find it difficult to sleep as the cough may increase that time. He or She may have to sit up in order to breathe properly. It may also interfere with daily routine and one may also lose interest in eating.
Difficulty in breathing
Breathlessness or shortness of breath are some of the signs. A person may feel deprived of air to breathe. Some people may also experience fatigue with minimal or zero physical activity.
People may feel anxious when they breathe in less oxygen. This may also create tension in the muscles and put the person in a panic situation.
Changes in skin color
A bluish tinge may be seen around the lips. The skin tone may also change to grayish look. In some people, a purple tinge may be seen around nails.
Breathing from the chest
During the flare up, one may breathe irregularly because of inhaling into the chest into the stomach more often. As the symptoms worsen, the chest may move irregularly, which either may be too quick or too slow causing difficulty in breathing.
All the symptoms mentioned above need immediate medical attention because it can turn into a potentially life threatening event. Most of the patients may be needed to be hospitalized. The treatment may depend upon incidence and cause of the problem. Doctors may prescribe Spiriva (Tiotropium bromide).
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This bronchodilator may reduce the probability of COPD flare ups and ease breathing. To avoid any side effects, it should be taken only if prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.