Many of our members unfortunately have COPD and for every person who knows they have it, there's another member who doesn't know it yet and has not been diagnosed! We can change that with awareness! This Month is COPD Awareness Month and November 20 is World COPD Day.
There is no better place than here since most COPD is Smoking related and about 15-20% of smokers develop COPD.There are other risk factors, such as a family history and airway hyper-responsiveness, but it is not clearly predictable which smokers will develop the disease. Smoking cessation is the only effective intervention to slow the accelerated decline in lung function.Spirometry by a trained health professional gives an indication of lung health by measuring airway obstruction. As a screening tool in smokers it has the potential to detect early changes before any significant symptoms are evident.
Now, you might think that COPD has nothing to do with you - I certainly did! You might think that it's a gloomy subject - but if you keep an open mind, I will give you plenty of reasons for optimism! You might just be AFRAID and refuse to look at it! I wish that would provide you with some kind of magic shield but it doesn't! Knowledge is POWER! So learn about COPD and become aware and it will be a lot less frightening!
COPD causes a reduction in air flow in and out of the lungs due to inflammation, loss of elasticity and excess mucus. As the disease worsens, even everyday activities become challenging due to shortness of breath. While COPD can be managed effectively if found early most people aren’t familiar with the warning signs. Symptoms include coughing with or without mucus, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, wheezing and tightness in the chest.
Smoking causes up to 90 percent of COPD cases, with air pollution and environmental irritants also factoring in. If you experience any symptoms and are a smoker or have been exposed to other risk factors, arrange for a consultation with your physician. Delayed treatment can result in a permanent loss of lung function. If you are diagnosed with COPD, your physician will propose a treatment plan. Eliminating smoking is the most effective course; other treatments include medication, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and, in severe cases, surgery.
Scientists and researchers are striving to find better diagnosis techniques, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for both COPD and lung cancer. Join the American Lung Association in supporting their efforts by sharing this message of awareness with friends, family and fellow community members.
World COPD Day is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) in collaboration with health care professionals and COPD patient groups throughout the world. Its aim is to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and improve COPD care throughout the world.
The first World COPD Day was held in 2002. Each year organizers in more than 50 countries worldwide have carried out activities, making the day one of the world's most important COPD awareness and education events.
World COPD Day 2014 takes place TODAY around the theme “It’s Not Too Late.” This positive message was chosen to emphasize the meaningful actions people can take to improve their respiratory health, at any stage before or after a COPD diagnosis.
Individual activity organizers can also adapt the slogan in various ways to target specific messages to their audiences. For example--
For people with symptoms who have not been diagnosed:
If you’re short of breath, it’s not too late to ask your doctor about spirometry.
For patients with COPD:
If you have COPD, it’s not too late to live an active life.
If you care for people with COPD, it’s not too late to help your patients breathe better.
Let's get the word out! Early diagnosis provides us with many options for a long healthy happy life! We get to/have to decide to make the lifestyle choices that will enhance our breathing and calm our minds! And if you haven't done so yet, tell your Doctor that you want a Spirometry Test! Do it Now! It's not too late!