What Happens with a Flare-up?
Lung infections and airway irritations cause an increase in the symptoms of COPD:
- Increased coughing and mucus production
- Change in mucus color and shortness of breath, possibly with wheezing
Flare-ups (the medical term is exacerbations) are the result of lung infections or irritation. The increased amount of mucus decreases the lungs’ ability to clear the mucus, and airflow becomes more obstructed (airflow slows down). As the FEV1 falls, emergency room visits and hospitalization are more likely to be used.