Right lung, air passages (bronchial tubes), windpipe (trachea), left lung
Respiratory system

Why should people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) watch for signs of infection?

People with COPD have difficulty clearing their lungs of bacteria, dusts and other pollutants in the air. This makes them at risk for lung infections that may cause further damage to the lungs.

Therefore, it is important to watch for signs of infection and follow these tips to help prevent infections. You will probably not be able to avoid infections entirely, but these tips will help you prevent infections as much as possible.

What are warning signs of an infection, especially if I have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)?

Warning signs of infection

While most infections can be successfully treated, you must be able to recognize an infection's immediate symptoms for proper and effective care.

  • Increased shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Coughing up increased amounts of mucus
  • Yellow- or green-colored mucus (may or may not be present)
  • Fever (temperature over 101°F) or chills (may or may not be present)
  • Increased fatigue or weakness
  • Sore throat, scratchy throat or pain when swallowing
  • Unusual sinus drainage, nasal congestion, headaches or tenderness along upper cheekbones

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your physician right away, even if you do not feel sick.

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