COPD symptoms can creep up gradually or be mistaken for something else, such as a cough, allergies, cold, flu, or other less serious ailments. If you have COPD, you have emphysema or chronic bronchitisor—most often—both. Read on to find out more about the symptoms of COPD.
Worsening COPD symptoms are called exacerbations, and they can be serious. Nicolacakis says. But here are some general guidelines that can help you know when you should call your doctor and when you should call or go to the ER.
Because many diseases share the same symptoms, one can often disguise another, making their diagnosis and treatment more difficult. Unraveling the tangled knot of symptoms that are shared between emphysemachronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPDand lung cancer can be particularly challenging, but also critically important. Although slipping from emphysema to COPD is usually not a drastic decline in health, early detection of lung cancer is critical for increasing your treatment options and improving your prognosis. Below you can learn everything you need to know about the differences between these illnesses, and how you can spot red flag symptoms early on.
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD may have swelling in their ankles, legs and feet. The right side of the heart pumps blood into the lungs. The blood travels though blood vessels to absorb oxygen from the millions of tiny air sacs in the lungs.
There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of lung canceraccording to the NHS. But as the condition develops, a persistent cough, coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness, unexplained tiredness and weight loss, and an ache or pain when breathing or coughing are the usual signs. One symptom people may not recognise as being linked to lung cancer is swelling in the face.
Jump to content. Flare-ups are also called exacerbations. Flare-ups are one of the biggest reasons why people with COPD become disabled or have to be hospitalized.
COPD flare-ups and infections. If you feel increasing shortness of breath, more mucus in your throat, and greater wheezing and coughing than usual, you may be experiencing a COPD flare-up — something you need to share with your doctor. You should also call if the material you cough up changes colour or if you have a fever lasting more than 24 hours. COPD flare-ups often result from a bronchial infection, which may be treatable with antibiotics, or from breathing fumes, dust, or pollution.
Lung cancer can cause swelling in the face and neck when a tumor malignancy presses on the vein that goes from the head to the heart. This symptom is called superior vena cava syndrome or superior vena cava obstruction. The superior vena cava is the name of the vein that carries blood from the head and arms to the heart.