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Lung Infection and COPD: Signs and Symptoms

18 May 2017
| Under COPD, Lung Disease, Medical, Related Conditions | Posted by | 18 Comments
Lung Infection and COPD: What You Can Do

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive form of lung disease ranging from mild to severe. It is characterized by the obstruction of airflow into and out of the lungs, making breathing difficult. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis both fall under the category of COPD. Lung infection and COPD go hand in hand. A person with COPD has narrowed airways and inflamed air sacs, making him or her more prone to lung infections, which are sometimes referred to as pneumonia. Here are the facts you need to know about lung infection and COPD.

What is a Lung Infection?

Pneumonia, or a lung infection, occurs when bacteria, viruses and sometimes fungi collect in a person’s lungs and begin to grow. This causes the air sacs in the lungs to become filled with pus and liquid, making it more difficult for a person to breathe. Symptoms include chest pain and/or a frequent cough that’s different from the usual chronic cough that’s associated with COPD.

Pneumonia and COPD is a serious combination that should not be taken lightly. Damage from pneumonia can cause irreversible damage to lung tissue, with the most severe complication being respiratory failure. In fact, acute respiratory failure is one of the leading health concerns when a person with COPD develops pneumonia.

Can Lung Infections be Prevented?

Lung infection and COPD, while common, isn’t entirely unavoidable. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your lungs. Many people develop pneumonia after having the flu. Because of this, getting a flu shot is an important safety precaution that a person can take to reduce chances of contracting pneumonia. Frequent hand washing is also key, as is staying away from people who are sick.

Eating healthy and exercising are also great ways to strengthen your immune system, which will not only reduce your chances of getting sick, but also lower the risk of experiencing COPD exacerbations.

Signs and Symptoms of a Lung Infection

Lung Infection and COPD: What You Can Do

Symptoms of a lung infection are very similar to COPD symptoms, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of a lung infection and how they differ from those of COPD.

1) Fever

Normal body temperature is typically around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but varies from person to person. An elevated body temperature, or fever, might be an indication of a lung infection. In addition to an elevated body temperature, or a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, chills and shaking are other symptoms of a fever.

2) Increased Shortness of Breath

Experiencing shortness of breath is a common problem for people with COPD. However, if the shortness of breath gets worse, it could be a sign of a lung infection. Additionally, rapid breathing and an increased heart rate may also be signs of a lung infection. Because of this, paying careful attention to your body and the severity of your symptoms is imperative in helping to catch a lung infection early on.

3) Changes in Mucus

If you notice that you are expelling more mucus when you cough, or that it has changed, these could be symptoms of a lung infection. When a person has a lung infection, their mucus tends to change color, have a thicker and stickier consistency, and sometimes will have a foul odor. Your mucus can tell you a lot about the state of your lungs.

4) Sharp Chest Pain

People with a lung infection typically experience a sharp, aching pain on one side of their chest that worsens when they breathe in deeply. This is called pleuritic chest pain. It can also feel like a tightness or pressure inside of your chest wall. While pleuritic chest pain isn’t always indicative of a lung infection, it could signify another issue. Sometimes pleuritic chest pain could be a problem with the lung or heart. With any type of chest pain, it is important to immediately seek professional medical attention.

Managing a lung infection and COPD isn’t an easy task. However, knowing what to look out for can help you catch an infection before it gets worse. If you think you might have symptoms of a lung infection, contact your primary care physician for an expert opinion. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health.

Many people with COPD have experienced a reduction in inflammation and other COPD symptoms after receiving cellular therapy at the Lung Institute. If you’re interested in learning more about how cellular therapy might help you, contact us today for more information.


  1. Lung Institute

    3 months ago


    Thank you for your comment and question. As long as you have been diagnosed with a lung disease you are a candidate for our cellular treatment.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular treatment for chronic lung diseases, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Mike Gott

    3 months ago

    I have copd and have never smoked iF i get cold it goes direcly to my lungs Have been hospitalized 2 times in the lasT year im 65 and in exelent health ecept for my lungs can cell tHearpy heLp me ?

  3. Lung Institute

    3 months ago


    Thank you for your comment and question. We are sorry to hear about your brother’s condition. We will have to suggest you work with your primary doctor or specialist to delve deeper into your brother’s medical situation. We do not diagnose patients. We treat patients who have been diagnosed with a lung disease.

    Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. We’re happy to answer your questions, so feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  4. Harman

    3 months ago

    Actually my brother is Conti suffering with fever and cough since 5-6 months ,he has wheat allergy , some times he feels breathless and we admitted in the hospital and after 1 month doCtors says he dont understand Whats happening because they treated every possible tests of him and every time the tests are negati . We ate really upset about the conditions ,can anybody help me out to get it.
    Thank you

  5. Lung Institute

    4 months ago


    We are sorry to hear about your condition. We collect patient outcomes data, and 84.5% of patients included in the study report an improvement in their quality of life after receiving treatment from a Lung Institute clinic.

    For many of our patients, treatment has helped them feel better and breathe more easily. To hear more from our patients, check out our testimonials page. We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular treatment, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with one of our patient coordinators. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  6. Mary

    4 months ago

    Thank you for the information . i have bronchiectasis and at times i feel my left side of my lungs very inflBREATHe so much i have to losen my bra to be able to breath my chest feels tight but i don’t really cough anything out . im mostly tired and run out of breath quickly

  7. Lung Institute

    4 months ago


    Thank you very much for the kind words and comment. We appreciate it and look forward to providing more valuable information to help people handle their lung disease


    The Lung Institute

  8. pranjal

    4 months ago

    its really a hard disease and i bless all those who are suffering from it that they may get well soon . i want to thank this website that they gave me a wonderful knowledge about this disease ……………….thank uuu!!!!

  9. Lung Institute

    4 months ago


    Thank you for your comment and question. We also are sorry to hear about your mother’s condition.

    We would suggest you see your mom’s primary doctor or specialist for a proper diagnosis. We are not in any position to make a diagnosis like that.

    We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  10. Agustina

    4 months ago

    Hello, my mom has been diagnosed with a lung infection i AM just wondering if anemia and liquid retention (swollen ankles) are symptoms of her lung infection or if these ser seperate and caused by something else. She started with fevers and tiredness and was diagnosed with anemia but her conditión worsened and now 3months in the lung infection was uncovered. Thank you for all the info on the page!

  11. Lung Institute

    8 months ago


    Thank you for the message. According to the American Behcet’s Disease Association, current research suggests viral, bacterial, genetic and environmental factors may play a role in the development of Behcet’s Disease, but no specific cause has been established and no triggers have been identified.

    You are doing the right thing by seeing your primary care physician.

    We wish you good luck.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  12. Sarah

    8 months ago

    I have been experiencing similar symptoms as the ones described, and I am connecting with my primary care physician.

    But I’m curious, have you guys found that there is any connection to lung infections and COPD to those who have Behcet’s Disease? I’m curious if they’re a connection – so I know what to keep an eye on moving forward.


  13. Lung Institute

    9 months ago


    Thanks for your comment. We’re glad to hear that you’re doing well, and wish you continued success.


    Lung Institute

  14. Charles Restow

    9 months ago

    I have been to the Lung Institute and feel that it was very helpful. I am 82 and still getting around OK and plan on being around a few more years. Thanks to the Lund Institute

  15. Phoebe

    11 months ago

    Hi Cynthia,

    More and more studies are being done on the effectiveness of cell therapy. In addition, there are more people receiving treatment and experiencing positive results. So, while it may take some time before insurance companies decide to cover treatment, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered in the future. We’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding cellular treatment and cost, so feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149 to speak with your patient coordinator.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  16. Cynthia

    11 months ago

    Is anyone working on getting the insurance companies to cover cells therapy? I have COPD an want to have it done but insurance considers it elective and there is no way I can afford the money to have it done. Again it’s a procedure only people with money can afford

  17. Phoebe

    11 months ago

    Hi Rosa,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear about the challenges you have been facing with pulmonary fibrosis. It’s very important to call your doctor to let him or her know about your sore throat. Your doctor may want you to come in for a check-up. Because your doctor knows you and your health situation well, he or she will be able to best guide you.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  18. ROSA l LLOYD

    11 months ago

    i have a sore throat this morning and can’t talk.i have pulmonary fibrosis,been taking the medicine Esbriet and inhalters.found out i had this in january.going to have a ecoh gram today at 3;30.my age is 74.been in good shape until i found this out.dr levy is my lung dr.very good dr.i have had all kinds of test done.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.