Living Well With COPD - Page 32

LIVING WELL WITH COPD Avoiding Flare-Ups A COPD “flare-up,” also known as an “exacerbation,” is a worsening Studies have shown that all of symptoms. A flare-up may lead to: of the following are related • • • to more COPD flare-ups: • Smoking • Lack of pulmonary rehabilitation • Improper use of an inhaler • Taking medications improperly Poorer lung function More shortness of breath A decline in quality of life Most important, it can be dangerous. It may put you at risk for death. COPD flare-ups may require hospitalization. It’s imperative that you: • • • Know the signs and symptoms of flare-ups. Take immediate action should one occur. Report a flare-up to your health-care provider. What causes flare-ups? • • • 30 Infections caused by viruses and bacteria Very hot or very cold weather Air pollution