What Does COPD Attack Feel Like?

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease has certain symptoms which the patients and their close ones should know. Though in certain circumstances the COPD symptoms may worsen suddenly, they may even disturb without any prior sign. Doctors often use the term “exacerbation” in this disease. This is the period when the COPD patient has severe trouble in breathing and the situation may be life threatening too. As per a report from WHO, COPD is one of the most occurred diseases in the last few years. In 2015 alone, it accounted for more than 5% of total death all over the world. Millions of people suffer from COPD and the number is increasing in multiples day by day.

Symptoms of COPD

There are several symptoms indicative of COPD; following are those which are found in a maximum number of cases:

  • Breathing trouble with a tightness or heaviness in the chest is one of the common symptoms of COPD
  • Frequent sighs and feeling better with a sigh
  • Frequent coughing with mucus, especially while lying completely
  • A headache and sometimes nausea
  • Inability to do physical work for a long time at a stretch can also be a symptom of COPD.

What Does COPD Attack Feel Like?

What Does COPD Attack Feel Like?

As said before, COPD attack may happen at any moment. It becomes a type of flare up which have certain signs. So, the patients should know how it feels when such COPD attack happens:

Breathing Issues: Breathing becomes more troublesome. A whizzing sound occurs with the increasing sound which means a large quantity of mucus is blocking the airways.

Irregular Breathing: The breathing will be irregular and frequent sighs will be there giving momentary relief.

Increased Cough: Coughing will be more frequent with or without mucus. The mucus may be yellowish with stains of blood. Coughing may increase while lying down.

Chest Heaviness: Feeling of heaviness in the chest with increasing heartbeat.

Sweating: Sweating and feeling hot in the entire body.

There may be several other feelings of COPD attack like mild to a severe headache, pain in the eyes, dizziness, confusion, etc. However, the above-mentioned signs are the most obvious ones that are the sure indication of COPD attack.


In COPD patients, the sudden attack is quite common. Both the patients and their family members should understand the signs of such attack and take necessary steps immediately. Doctors always prescribe emergency medicines for the same which should be kept available at home. Consulting with the doctor, some preventive measures like quitting smoking, using a mask in a dusty or smoky environment, systematic breathing practice or “pranayama” practice, etc. can also help to reduce the intensity of attack and alleviating the symptoms.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 19, 2018

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