British Lung Foundation
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Coming down with a cold

I don't remember the last time I had a cold, it was years ago. I was diagnosed with COPD about 5 weeks ago and have done a lot of reading since, and have learnt to keep away from people with coughs, colds, sore throats, etc. Can't believe that now I need to be careful that I catch a cold. I've spent most of today sneezing, blowing my nose and wiping tears away from leaky eyes that all the sneezing is causing.

Any advice to get through this as easily as possible and to prevent it from making the COPD worse during this time.

9 Replies

Poor you Susie. At first I worried a lot at the first sign of a cold. Gradually I have learnt that a cold doesn't mean you will get a chest infection.

Keep warm, take whatever cold relief stuff helps and if you end up being chesty and coughing stuff that is any colour apart from colourless (sounds weird) then see you GP for antibiotics.

I too rarely get cold and sometimes think I am, but then it just disappears and no harm done.

Let us know how you get on.

Lynne xx


Thanks Lynne. I think I'm not quite over the "worrying about everything" stage yet but I'm sure I'll get there.

If I do cough anything up (I find this difficult, mental block due to something to do with grandfather in my childhood) it's a sort of cream-yellow but I'll keep an eye out for it changing colour.

I've actually got an appointment with GP tomorrow to see if she'll change inhaler to Spiriva which the COPD clinic nurse might suit me better, maybe I'll add my cold to the list of things to discuss, but as she's known as Dr. Hopeless I wont hold my breath (not that I could anyway LOL!).

I've just opened a box of nice soft tissues, hope my poor nose doesn't get too sore :(


I'm on Spiriva and it really helps xx


Being aware of your own health is important/critical. When your breathing is compromised due to a cold, or similar, you may be able to manage your problems yourself or have to call for help!! Not every cold will develop into a problem, but when you have copd identifying when you are loosing control and knowing what to do early can save a lot of problems.

You should have a plan and know what to do when! Perhaps a chat with you healthcare provider would be useful? Ask for a plan! At worst it gives them a chance to examine you and treat if they think necessary.

Whatever happens, i wish you well. You are very early in your copd career.


Thanks Kevi. Will also discuss having a plan with GP also.


Kevi's advice is so spot on I'd guess he's a professional and if taken will give you best chances.

Take care,



No problem. Enjoy your evening



I find a lemsip with a large dollop of honey works well,,30 mins before bed.... :)


Hi, Lynne once mentioned Manuka Honey as a natural remedy (it's on my list of remedies to buy but it's a bit expensive plus I'm avoiding sweet stuff at the moment).

I got some Vit C & Zinc effervesant (3 for 2 Tesco's) and Echinacia drops to boost the immune system recently. I believe they worked at keeping the bugs from my lungs for 3 weeks.

An infection did take hold but it doesn't seem as virilent as usual. It's nearly better with the help of Azithromycin. Hope this helps. Stay warm, drink loads. P


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