Do You Have COPD?
In 2011, 12.7 million Americans were estimated to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). What’s even more alarming is the fact that another 12 million people don’t know they have COPD, according to the National Heart, Lung and Disease Institute. Could you be one of them? With that many undiagnosed people out there, it’s very possible. See your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
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- Shortness of breath, especially when participating in any physical activities
- Excessive coughing
- Difficulty taking deep breaths
- Feeling of tightness in your chest
- Lack of energy
- Blueness of the lips and fingernails
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Sputum (mucus-like fluid from lungs) production during coughing sessions
As the disease progresses, the symptoms may worsen, which is known as acute exacerbation of COPD. The symptoms of COPD suddenly worsen and usually last for several days. In short, it’s a flare up.
Symptoms of acute exacerbation of COPD include coughing and wheezing more than usual, an increase in the amount of mucus and/or a change in the color, fever, fatigue and swelling in your feet and/or ankles.