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What is an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

An exacerbation, or flare-up, of COPD is a period where the symptoms flare up and become worse than usual. Exacerbations can be triggered by respiratory infections, such as the common cold and flu, or by breathing in other substances that can irritate the lungs, such as fumes or gases. Some exacerbations of COPD can be very serious and need to be treated in hospital.

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Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 521 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Asthma

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