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Health Education Blog

Learn Facts And Spread Awareness Celebrating World COPD Day

Posted by Staff on November 13, 2017

COPD on colorful sticky notesChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a medical term used to describe progressive lung diseases. The diseases that fall under this umbrella term include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, non-reversible asthma, and certain forms of bronchiectasis.

The main symptom of COPD is increased breathlessness. According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. There have been over 11 million people diagnosed with COPD and many more have it, they just don't know it yet. This is because these people believe that their increased breathlessness is a normal part of aging.

What Is World COPD Day?

World COPD Day was launched by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). GOLD works in conjunction with public health officials and healthcare professionals all over the world to raise awareness of COPD. This is a group effort to improve prevention and to find a cure for the disease. This year, World COPD Day is November 15, 2017.

What Are GOLD's Objectives?

GOLD created World COPD day to meet a variety of objectives.

  • Recommending and teaching effective COPD management and prevention strategies that can be used for patients all over the world.

  • Increase awareness of the general public, public health officials and in the entire medical community that COPD is an ongoing public health problem.

  • To decrease the number of deaths caused by COPD by implementing the correct diagnosis and management programs.

  • Working with medical professionals to find a cure for COPD.

What Are the Symptoms of COPD?

Most people don't suffer any COPD symptoms until significant lung damage has already occurred. The most common symptoms of COPD include:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Having to clear the mucus in your lungs often

  • A chronic, productive cough

  • Cyanosis (blueness in the nail beds and lips)

  • Frequent respiratory infections

  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet

  • Fatigue

  • Weight loss in the later stages of the disease

Who is at Risk of Developing COPD?

There are certain factors that will put you at greater risk of developing COPD. The professionals at Orchard Hospital can discuss the risk factors with you. The most common risk factors include:

  • Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: Whether you are a smoker or live with a smoker, you are at risk of developing COPD.

  • Smoking With Asthma: The combination of having asthma and smoking puts you at great risk of developing COPD.

  • Exposure to Dust and Chemicals at Work: If your job puts you in contact with dust, vapors, and chemical fumes your lungs can become irritated, resulting in COPD.

  • Age: COPD develops over several years. If you are over 40 years old, you are at risk.

  • Genetics: Genetics can make you more susceptible to developing COPD. If you are a smoker with a family history of COPD, your chances of developing the disease doubles.

Complications Related To COPD

COPD causes symptoms that affect your everyday life. There are also serious health complications associated with COPD.

  • Frequent Illness: People with COPD are at a higher risk of developing colds, the flu, and pneumonia.

  • Heart Problems: While the reason remains unknown, COPD can increase your chance of heart disease and heart attack.

  • Lung Cancer: Your chances of developing lung cancer greatly increase if you suffer from COPD.

  • High Blood Pressure in Your Lung Arteries: COPD increases your chance of developing pulmonary hypertension, which occurs in the arteries that deliver blood to your lungs.

  • Depression: When you struggle to breathe, it can prevent you from doing things that you enjoy. This and the other symptoms can result in depression. Also, knowing that you are suffering from a serious, life-threatening disease can cause depression.

If you are suffering from COPD, there are treatments available that can help you live with COPD, such as the AIRE Program at Orchard Hospital. The level of treatment that you would need would depend on how far the disease has progressed. Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD. This is why World COPD Day is so important.

Ways To Get Involved on World COPD Day

Whether you are suffering from COPD yourself or if a loved one is suffering from this disease, there are a few ways that you can do your part and get involved in World COPD Day.

  • Share The Breath Test: Getting out of breath can be normal, but it can also be a symptom of COPD. Their online breath test is a great tool to help you learn more about your lung health.

  • COPD Patient Passport: If you are suffering from CIPD, GOLD can help you get the care that you need. To get started, click here.

  • Tweet Your Support: If you want to show your support to those living with COPD every day, use the hashtag #WorldCOPDDay to show your support.

  • Donate: In order to raise awareness and find a cure, researchers and medical professionals need money. You can make a one-time donation or be set up to donate monthly.

If you or someone you love is suffering from COPD, you can get involved on World COPD Day. If everyone whose life is affected by COPD in one way or another were willing to do their part, we could raise awareness about COPD and possibly, one day, find a cure. 

Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior healthcare. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.

Topics: COPD

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