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COPD Exacerbations


									     How You Can Help Prevent
       COPD Exacerbations
                        When shortness of breath and other COPD symptoms
                        get worse over a short period of time, it is called an

                        It can take a long time to recover from a COPD
                        exacerbation. Sometimes exacerbations cause a
                        decline in lung function that is permanent.

                        You can help prevent exacerbations and maintain
                        your lung health! Here are some simple steps you can
                        1. Many exacerbations are caused by respiratory
                            Get a pneumococcal vaccine and yearly flu
                            Wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer,
                               and practice good hygiene to reduce your chance
                               of catching a respiratory infection.

                        2. Other exacerbations are caused by air pollution.
                            Stop smoking. Stay away from secondhand smoke.
                            Stay indoors and close windows on bad air
                              pollution days.

                        3. Take your medicines according to the doctor’s
                           instructions. Make sure you understand how to use
                           your inhaler.

                        4. Keep your body strong. Walk, exercise regularly, and
                           eat healthy foods.

                        5. Know what to do if your breathing gets worse. If an
                           exacerbation does develop, get treatment immediately
                           to help minimize its effects.

             World COPD Day 2011 is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic
             Obstructive Lung Disease (

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