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Colds & Emphysema

Posted Aug 06 2010 11:41am
Oh great, so now I've caught something.  It started the other night with my waking up gasping for air.  My nose felt like it shut down and I couldn't get air in or out.  I finally ended up staying awake all night due to not being able to sleep and extreme shortness of breath.  I ended up taking Robitussin to help with any congestion, although at that point I didn't feel I had any.  The next morning, while my breathing was better, I still felt yucky.  I noticed the Robitussin was moving the congestion and I was able to get rid of some.

I still didn't connect the dots and thought maybe it was the high humidity in Philly.  Well, today I have even more symptoms of a cold - sneezing, coughing, bringing up stuff, funny in the head, so apparently I caught something when I was out the other day with my daughter running errands.  I do have antibiotics on hand that my pulmonologist prescribed so that I'd be ready to take them should the need arise.

Colds are bad enough, but for those of us with emphysema it can be quite miserable and dangerous and can even lead to pneumonia.  Below is information I found on WebMD on how colds affect the symptoms of those of us with COPD.  You can read the full article by clicking here .

"What Happens With Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds?

A cold is a viral respiratory illness that mainly affects your nose and throat but in some instances can affect your airways. When you have emphysema or chronic bronchitis, you already have some difficulty breathing because of the damaged airways and lungs. Catching a respiratory virus along with COPD can hinder breathing even more and can cause the following changes in your symptoms:
  • An increase in phlegm
  • An increase in the thickness or stickiness of the phlegm
  • A change in phlegm color to yellow or green
  • A presence of blood in the phlegm
  • An increase in the severity of shortness of breath, cough, or wheezing
  • A general feeling of ill health
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased fatigue"
Hopefully I can kick this cold to the curb quickly. 

Thanks for stopping by!
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