Nobody wants to have to go through a full-blow COPD flare-up. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease wherein the airways in your lungs become swollen and partly blocked. Trouble breathing, relentless coughing, and an inability to sleep are just a few of the potentially life-threatening symptoms that can result from a COPD flare-up.
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Fortunately, by understanding what most commonly causes COPD flare-ups, you can prevent them from happening in the first place.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke, whether inhaling it from you smoking or as secondhand smoke from someone around you, is responsible for at least 85-percent of all cases of COPD. Beyond causing COPD in the first place, smoking can cause further inflammation in people with COPD as a result of the tar and many other toxic chemicals inside cigarettes. This inflammation can lead to severe flare-ups, a worsening of your condition, and a greater risk of lung infection.
Quitting smoking is a great first step in preventing COPD flare-ups. If you don’t smoke but find yourself around a lot of people who do, removing yourself from situations where you might inhale a lot of secondhand smoke is also helpful. For example, for family functions involving family members who smoke, communicating beforehand about your COPD can help to avoid any possibility of flare-ups.