Home Care in Redding, CT
If your loved one has COPD, you're probably concerned about his breathing all the time. Periodically your loved one might experience exacerbations, or flare-ups, of his COPD symptoms. Part of being a family caregiver involves being able to spot these flare-ups and get your loved one medical attention when the symptoms become too severe.
Loss of Breath
One of the most obvious signs that your loved one is having a COPD flare-up is that he starts to have a difficult time catching his breath. He may feel that no matter how deeply he breathes, he can't get air into his lungs. He could also feel that his lungs just won't expand.
Noises While Breathing
If your loved one has COPD, you've likely heard his lungs make all sorts of noises. Some of the most common are rattling or wheezing. These noises can indicate that your loved one has fluid or mucus building up in his lungs. If he's able to expel any of this gunk, he can start to breathe a little easier.
Anxiety and Worry
Anxiety is very common among COPD sufferers. The idea that they won't be able to breathe or get any air is a terrifying thought, and the beginning of a flare-up may incite an anxiety attack. If your loved one starts acting extremely worried, then a flare-up may be not far behind.
When your loved one's lungs start to fill up with mucus or fluid, they become irritated and he may start to cough. Some of this coughing may be voluntary as he tries to clear his lungs, but some may be involuntary. If your loved one is coughing up mucus or phlegm, his doctor may want to know the color so he can determine how severe the situation is.
Blue Skin or Nails
When your loved one has difficulty breathing, that means that his body has difficulty getting oxygen to his extremities. One of the biggest signs that his body isn't getting the oxygen that he needs is to see his skin or his nails turning blue or purple. If that happens, contact his doctor right away.
If your loved one is having a tough time breathing, it's going to be difficult to talk as well. It's similar to talking while you're walking or running, only your loved one is likely sitting still and not exerting himself at all.
Waking Up with Headaches
Ask your loved one to let you know if he wakes up with headaches. While there are many different causes for morning headaches, one that can apply to your loved one with COPD is that overnight his body had more carbon dioxide than oxygen.
Swelling in Ankles and Legs
Because COPD affects your loved one's circulatory system, you may find that he develops swelling in his ankles or legs. This is a symptom that can come and go depending on how he's feeling. If the swelling becomes severe, it's something to talk to your loved one's doctor about.
Once you know what to look for, you can spot a COPD flare-up before it becomes too severe. Then you can help your loved one to cope with the symptoms more effectively.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Redding, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Danbury, CT at 203-731-2544.