British Lung Foundation
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New COPD- Can I head off another chest infection?

Hi all

Please can you advise me?

I have just been getting well after three months of chest infections and breathlessness, with undiagnosed COPD. I was diagnosed stage 2 two weeks ago. My new regular meds are Fostair 200/6 and Tiotropium bromide (Braltus). I also have salbutamol if required.

I have finally been pretty well the last fortnight, thankfully, but just today I have been showing signs of a cold. I’m also a tinier bit “chesty”, but only just a hint.

Does anyone know if there anything at all I can do to head off another round of infection?

All tips welcome and thank you in advance.

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Hi there Greenremember, well as far as chest infections and colds are concerned I'm afraid there is no gaurentee of avoiding it because the germs are air born so you don't need to be in contact with the various viruses going around . It's annoying I know. Your safest bet is to always have an emergency pack as back up, that's your steroids and antibiotics, have a flu jab. And as well as taking all necessary meds, keep yourself warm through the winter months. I don't think you can do anymore to be honest with you. I mean you can avoid people who like to share all their lovely gems with you but that's obvious j

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Thank you for replying. It’s tricky for me to avoid people as I have older teens at home. I did have a flu jab on 4th Jan, and am due a pneumonia jab next time I’m at the GP.

I did ask for an emergency prescription for amoxyl though, and have that at home, plus I have prednisolone left over from before Christmas. I’m yet to have a management plan, though, and am still awaiting some tests- a heart scan and trip to a respiratory consultant.

Luckily I haven’t smoked for 5 years.

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Vitamin D supplements 5,000 - 7000IU. Zinc, vitamin c etc.

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Greenhills, hope no more infections, keep tucked up and warm. X

Irene

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Thank you Irene.

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Hi,

Worth attending pulmonary rehab, ask for emergency meds (rather than the leftover steroids), stay/get fit (exercise daily), avoid young children as they are a breeding ground for germs (difficult when we have kids/grand kids!), where possible avoid air-conditioned areas and, when you get as paranoid as me, you'll have a flu jab in October and a "booster" (which we are not supposed to have!) in December ... just in case!

Truth is if the nasties are going to attack then there's not much we can do except recognise it early and get treatment.

Best wishes

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Believe me, I’m already that paranoid. 14 weeks of infection in a row was quite enough for that.

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It dose make you paranoid I know. I had to go to the doctors a couple of days ago and before I got to the surgery, I put my scarf around my nose and mouth. Every time I have a cold it always ends up chest infection. Anyway, stay warm and hopefully infection free. ✋️😊

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Just been in the kitchen to find teen son and several friends in there, of which one has a streaming cold. He was getting milk from the fridge too. Just praying it’s one I’ve had before so don’t catch again. I got my soon to wipe down the surfaces and the joys went to his room. I’ve reminded them to avoid the house when they have colds.

This is so difficult.

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It all sounds very funny but when your faced with the after affects it's a whole new ball game that's for sure. My husband vets people at the front door and if somebody is coughing, sneezing or keeps blowing their nose he won't let them in, no matter who they are. Better safe than sorry he always says, I agree. ✋️😊

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At the first sign of a cold, or even if another family member has one I use First Defence nasal spray and it stops it in its tracks before it has chance to reach my chest. Some people, like my husband, say that it doesn't work for them but for me it works every time and within 24 hours all the symptoms have gone. I do two squirts up each nostril every 2 hours, not very pleasant and makes you feel as if the cold is getting worse to start with but worth it! Hope you feel better soon

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Thank you for your replies. They’re all very helpful.

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I also recommend 'Vicks First Defence' and also 'NasalGuard Cold & FluBlock'. Always use both daily if going to be in company. Take Vitamin D daily and highest strength Echinacea twice a day. Touch wood, that's helped tremendously so far, with consistent hand washing and use of antibacterial hand gel - and of course trying hard not to touch my mouth, nose or eyes.

All sounds a bit obsessive but I can't afford to damage my lungs again as already down to 28% with severe emphysema. And this way I can live a pretty normal life, all be it trailing my oxygen concentrator behind me.

Good luck! Mx

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Hi Michelle, I’m not sure I can take nasal guard because it interferes with the Braltus. I might look at Vicks First Defense though.

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Yes, I use both those too.

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I use Nightnurse. Half a dose for 3 days ...It works for me. Helps me sleep too

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Can I check with people- do you go out in cold weather eg 1-6 degrees UK, or not? I have been, just to go shopping and get a bit of exercise (like 3000 steps-not much at the moment). I do wear a thick scarf and warm clothes. It’s hard to know whether the exercise or the staying indoors in cold weather is better. I am careful with hand hygiene and have also bought some handbag size gel.

The reason I ask is that twice a cold seems to have appeared after being out. That said, it could easily be a coincidence. I don’t feel like my lungs are troubled when I am actually out.

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I live in Spain so as to avoid the cold weather! Had to go to the UK to see my children/grandchildren in early December and hardly went out of doors at all. Had a mild chest infection upon return but stopped it getting any worse with my emergency pack.

It's more likely to be picking up germs from others if you're lungs aren't troubling you when out in the cold. Not sure why Nasal Guard would interfere with Braltus? Best ask your doc.

Mx

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I can’t now find the reference to it, unfortunately. I may have imagined it, though I’m doubtful about that. Possible though!

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