COPD Awareness Month: November

Do you know what COPD stands for? Do you know what it is?

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s a respiratory disease that could be virtually eliminated from the world if we would stop smoking altogether. Imagine that. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall under the COPD umbrella.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute,

COPD is now the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and also causes long-term disability.

The number of people who have COPD is on the rise — more than 12 million are currently diagnosed with it. And it is estimated that another 12 million may have COPD but not realize it.

Old_Couple_feeding_BirdsThe typical person with COPD is over 45 years old and who either smokes or has smoked. Other people who have it may have a genetic risk factor or have been exposed to something in the environment.

Symptoms:

  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Inability to take a deep breath
  • Excess sputum production

If you believe you may have COPD, see your doctor. A test called a spirometry, will tell you what your lung capacity is. It’s a simple test that requires you to breathe into a tube as hard as you can and as long as you can. That’s it.

Treatment

There’s no cure for COPD but there are medications on the market that may help you breathe easier.

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Image: MorgueFile.com


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