COPD is the second leading cause of preventable hospitalisations in Australia. Every exacerbation (flare-up of symptoms) does long-term damage.
Recognise your symptoms:
Coughing more than usual.
Harder to breathe than usual.
You are finding it harder to do your usual daily activities and may be taking more reliever medicine than you usually would.
Any change in sputum (phlegm)
Sputum (also known as phlegm or mucus) is often white. If it changes to a different colour such as yellow, brown or green, it can mean there is an infection. (Please note: sometimes people with chronic lung disease will have discoloured sputum even when they are well). A change in volume of sputum can also be signs of an exacerbation (you might be coughing up more or less than usual).
Tired more than usual (less active).
You have less energy and can do less than usual, and may feel like you need more rest. Your sleep and/or appetite may be affected.