Shortness of breath is a normal part of life when you have emphysema. The disease progresses in stages. In its early stages, you may not notice much shortness of breath. As it progresses, though, you may suffer from more flare-ups of shortness of breath and other symptoms.
Emphysema flare-ups affect everyone differently. If you’ve been diagnosed with emphysema, your doctor should have given you instructions on what to do during a flare-up.
Some flare-ups are severe and require medical assistance. Below, we’ll cover the difference between minor and severe flare-ups, so you’ll know when to seek medical assistance.
Minor and moderate emphysema flare-ups
Minor emphysema flare-ups are characterized by shortness of breath during a coughing spell. Usually, all you need to do in these situations is use your emergency bronchodilator inhaler and rest.
Moderate emphysema flare-ups involve more shortness of breath and uncontrollable coughing. The coughing may produce more mucus than usual. Use your inhaler and any other emergency medication your doctor prescribed. Call your doctor if the symptoms persist.
Severe emphysema flare-ups
You should seek immediate medical attention if your flare-up exhibits any of the following:
- Lack of response to inhaler or medication
- Chest pain
- Blue lips or fingertips
Your inhaler and medication alone are not enough to treat these kinds of symptoms. Usually, these symptoms don’t affect people with early stages of emphysema, but you should be aware of them since the disease affects everyone differently.
Tips for reducing flare-ups
You may not always be able to prevent flare-ups, but you can help reduce how often they occur by making some changes. Here are a few ways you can help reduce your emphysema flare-ups:
- Quit smoking
- Avoid dusty, smoky, fumy and polluted environments
- Limit your exposure to cold, dry air or hot, humid air
- Practice good hygiene
- Receive regular vaccinations
- Follow your treatment plan
Reduce flare-ups of emphysema symptoms with the Lung Restoration Treatment™
Lung Restoration Treatment is a treatment we offer at the Lung Health Institute to help reduce inflammation in your lungs. The treatment uses a concentration of healthy cells from your own body to target and fight this inflammation.
Contact us today to talk to one of our patient coordinators about Lung Restoration Treatment or to schedule a free consultation.