Be on the lookout for COPD signs that require medical attention either from your doctor or a trip to the emergency room. If your meds just don’t seem to be helping, or your symptoms suddenly get worse it’s time to get medical help. Use these tips to decide when you should call your doctor or go to the hospital:

Call your doctor if:

  • Your coughing gets worse.

  • You cough up more mucus than usual.

  • Your mucus is yellow, green, or brown.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have a hard time catching your breath.

Call 911 if:

  • You have difficulty walking or talking.

  • Your lips or fingernails look blue or gray.

  • Your heart is beating very fast, or your heartbeat is irregular.

  • Your breathing is hard and fast, and using your medicines doesn’t help.

  • You’re progressively feeling less improvement after using your rescue inhalers.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Kevin Felner, MD, an expert in pulmonary and critical-care medicine, is an assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine. Meg Schneider is an award-winning writer with more than two decades of experience.

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