Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a category of chronic inflammatory lung diseases that causes limitations in the lung airflow, making it difficult to breathe. COPD Day is observed on the third Wednesday of November every year with an objective to raise awareness about the disease and improve its prevention and treatment.
The number of people affected by COPD is on the rise and according to World Health Organisation, it will become the third leading cause of death by 2030 worldwide. Exposure to tobacco use and smoke has increased, hence the issue needs to be highlighted now.
COPD is not just shortness of breath or smokers’ cough, it could be a serious lung disease that if left undiagnosed can be life threatening.
You can check for symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath (Dyspnea)
- Wheezing (Whistling sound while breathing)
- Chest tightness
- Cough with mucus often called smoker’s cough
- >Unintended weight loss (in later stages
If you have a history of exposure to risk factors for the disease and have any of the symptoms visit a medical professional immediately.
Some prevention tips that you can follow are:
- Avoid both active and passive smoking since it is one of the leading causes of the disease
- Avoid outdoor and indoor pollution such as air pollution, chemical fumes
- Use a mask or any protective equipment to avoid occupational exposure of dust and chemicals
- Follow a healthy diet to reduce the risk of respiratory infections
- Avoid exposure to fireworks, crackers and fumes
Know that it is “never too early, never too late” for COPD diagnosis and treatment which is also this year’s theme for COPD Day by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).It is progressive, however, timely diagnosis and treatment can slow or restrict it. To be able to get diagnosed and treated you must be prepared. COPD treatment can prolong and drain you out of your financial resources. It is therefore recommended that that you are equipped; both mentally and financially for its care and prevention.