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How Pneumonia Affects COPD

25 Mar 2016
| Under COPD, Lung Disease, Medical, Related Conditions | Posted by | 5 Comments
How Pneumonia Affects COPD

Pneumonia and COPD can be a deadly mix. Find out why.

While we’ve all experienced the symptoms of a flu or a cold–runny nose, nasal congestion and fits of coughing. Most of us have been fortunate enough to avoid a more serious form of respiratory infection: pneumonia. For those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia can be devastating to an already weakened respiratory system.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to keep you informed on How Pneumonia Affects COPD and how to maintain respiratory health.


How Pneumonia Affects COPD

Most common when the lungs are already weakened, pneumonia thrives under conditions that typically promote the flu or common colds. Pneumonia can strike at any age and arises from viruses, bacteria, inhaled particles, liquids or fungi. The 2002 issue of American Family Physician states that bacterial infections such as Streptococcus pneumonia and haemophilus influenza cause 70 to 75 percent of COPD exacerbations.

Signs and Symptoms

How Pneumonia Affects COPD

The difficulty in recognizing and diagnosing pneumonia in patients with COPD (particularly in its later stages) is due to the similarity of symptoms between the two conditions.

COPD Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sputum
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness


  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sputum
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • High fever
  • Chills and shaking
  • Chest pain when coughing or breathing

Common in COPD exacerbations and pneumonia

  • Inability to speak due to a shortness of breath
  • Change in color of mucus to green, tan, yellow, or bloody
  • High fever
  • Lack of relief from prescription COPD medications


How Pneumonia Affects COPD

For people with COPD and other lung diseases, there is an inherently higher risk of not only developing pneumonia, but also suffering serious and life-threatening exacerbations and complications. The relationship between these two conditions greatly impact each other, making symptoms more severe and dangerous for the patient.

The damage from pneumonia and COPD can include inflammation that limits your airflow and causes irreversible damage to your lung tissue, with the most serious complication being respiratory failure.  Today, acute respiratory failure is one of the leading causes of concerns when a COPD patient develops pneumonia.

How to Prevent Pneumonia

How Pneumonia Affects COPD

Get a flu shot. The flu shot reduces the risk of pneumonia since many people develop pneumonia after having the flu. Keep yourself clean by washing your hands, and stay away from those who are sick. It’s also been recommended to exercise and maintain a healthy diet. This will improve your immune system, lower your risk of complications, keep your COPD symptoms minimized and reduce your risk of exacerbations.

Treatment Tips and Stem Cell Therapy

To avoid the complications of pneumonia and COPD, call your healthcare provider to get an x-ray. Pneumonia thrives within lungs of poor health. To promote healing within your lungs, stem cell therapy may be beneficial.

If you’re looking to take control of your health, don’t wait. If you or a loved one suffers from COPD or another lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 today to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.

Looking for more information on How Pneumonia Affects COPD? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts and comments on How Pneumonia Affects COPD below.


  1. Bob Fisher

    1 year ago

    Many of the cities that you listed as best to live in if, such as I, suffer from COPD miss a huge factor Atitude. I lived in Santa Fe for years, but had to leave. Santa Fa is at 7000 feet. The same is true for a number of the other listed cities. I strongly suggest altitude is taken into consideration before moving, or even visiting, some of your suggested towns and cities.

  2. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Kunhammed,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies do not cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered in the future. Speaking one-on-one with one of our patient coordinators is the best way to answer your questions regarding stem cells, cost and treatment. They have a wealth of knowledge and are happy to answer your questions today, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  3. KunhammedKutty

    2 years ago

    I am a COPD patient from India for a visit . How long the stem treatment take and I would like to know whether the treatment is covered in the insurance

  4. Cameron Kennerly

    2 years ago

    Good Morning Priscilla,

    Although stem cell therapy is not yet covered by traditional insurance, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators as well as discuss treatment options and sources for alternative funding.

    Thanks for your question Priscilla and we look forward to hearing from you.

    -The Lung Institute

  5. Priscilla martin

    2 years ago

    I have copd and alpha 1 what kind of insurance do you need for the stem cell treatment. I have medicare and supplement.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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