Symptoms

6 Signs Your COPD is Getting Worse

The HealthCentral Editorial Team Jun 21, 2013 (updated Nov 20, 2014)
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Dizziness
Dizziness
Morning headaches and morning dizziness can be caused by several health conditions, but it often signals a lack of oxygen and a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood that is caused by not getting enough air at night.
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Sleeping upright
Sleeping upright
Shortness of breath can make sleeping and moving around more difficult. If you find yourself stacking pillows higher or sleeping upright in a chair to make breathing easier, you may be experiencing a COPD exacerbation.
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Unrelenting fatigue
Unrelenting fatigue
This lack of a full-night's rest--along with the persistent lack of enough oxygen--can cause a relentless fatigue that is difficult to overcome.
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Swollen ankles
Swollen ankles
Lung and heart damage from COPD can lead to swollen ankles. If these symptoms get worse it could mean that your COPD is getting worse.
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Shallow breathing
Shallow breathing
Most people breathe from their abdomen, but people with serious COPD often breathe from their chest, and their breathing can be irregular.
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Changes in your cough
Changes in your cough
Perhaps more than anything, a change in your cough can indicate a change in your condition. If you find you're coughing up more than normal, or if your sputum has changed color, it is certainly time to see your doctor.