Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking.
COPD is often a mix of two diseases:
Many people with COPD have attacks called flare-ups or exacerbations. This is when your usual symptoms quickly get worse and stay worse.
The doctor has checked you carefully. But problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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