What do I expect? How often will they happen? How long will they last?
Anybody with COPD will most likely be asking themselves these questions as their disease progresses.
Exacerbation totally disrupt our lives and often lead to admission to the hospital - sometimes repeatedly in a few Months time. They make your symptoms very hard to live with from extreme shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, just plain feeling crummy all around.
Then there are the side effects of the meds - the jitters, increased heart rate, lack of sleep, bone degeneration, the list goes on...
Exacerbations are very hard to understand - not just for us but for our Physicians - even pulmonologists can become frustrated with what to do next.
Here is a discussion by professionals for professionals about understanding and preventing exacerbations:
Our job is to follow our treatment plan in between. Exercise, exercise, exercise, eat nutritiously, practice environmental hygiene, get your vaccinations, take your meds as prescribed, see your Doctor the first you notice things are changing., and protect your Quit!!!! Smoking is a sure fire way of making yourself sick - even second and third hand smoke.
Exacerbations impact Quality of Life in big ways and they also impact Quantity of Life! They often lead to permanent downward loss of lung capacity. They can't be prevented 100% but we have a BIG part in prevention and treatment.
It begins with understanding!