6 Signs Your COPD is Getting Worse

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Shallow breathing

Most people breathe from their abdomen, but people with serious COPD often breathe from their chest, and their breathing can be irregular.

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.