- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Most people do not even know what COPD is much less that November is awareness month. I do know what COPD is but did not know that November is awareness month.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a serious lung disease that causes difficulty breathing. Disease entities that lead to COPD are emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. These probably sound familiar. But it is not real well know that these persistence entities lead to COPD. It is now known that COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. But also COPD causes long-term disability.
The number of people who have COPD is rising. More than 12 million persons are currently diagnosed with it and it is estimated another 12 million may have COPD but not realize it. If someone has chronic coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing that persist, they should see a doctor or health care provider for a simple breathing test. If this test points to early stages of COPD, there are recognized treatment options available. With treatment you can breathe better and enjoy a more active and potentially long life.
November campaigns are aimed at helping people with COPD and help people identify risks. Then become more aware of COPD, get diagnosed early, better understand this disease and live better with it. Note the emphasis is LIVE with it. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has developed national campaign called COPD Learn More Breathe Better. Visit their site www.nhlbi.nih.gov and then share what you learn with others.
What is COPD
COPD is a serious lung disease that over time makes it hard to breathe. In people who have COPD, the airways – tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs – are partially blocked, which makes it hard to get air in and out. When COPD is severe, shortness of breath and other symptoms of COPD can get in the way of even the most basic tasks. This can be things such as light housework, taking a walk, even bathing and dressing. Many people with COPD avoid activities they used to enjoy because they become short of breath more easily.
Symptoms of COPD include:
COPD develops slowly and can worsen over time. Be sure to report any symptoms you might have to your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible. These should be reported no matter how mild they may seem.
There are many things people at risk for COPD can do:
new aids available from your doctor or health care provider - just look or ask. The National Cancer Institute has information on smoking cessation. Visit www.SmokeFree.gov., the American Lung Association, or call
1-800-QUITNOW for more information.
Irritate your lungs. This could be things like dust and strong fumes. Stay indoors when the outside air quality is poor. Stay away from scented aromas (i.e. candles and scented products.) Also stay away from places where there might be cigarette smoke. Ingesting smoke of any kind (camp fires; grilling smoke) can cause difficulty in breathing.
see your doctor or health care provider regularly. Make a list of your breathing symptoms and think about any activities you can no longer do because of shortness of breath. Be sure to take this information along with medicines you are taking to every visit.
conditions may also be at increased risk to become seriously ill with the H1N1 flu (formerly called swine flu). Ask your doctor or health care provider for the H1N1 vaccine. This is a flu shot made with inactivated (killed) flu virus. It can be administered at the same visit as any other vaccine including pneumonia vaccine. To learn more about the flu, H1N1 and COPD visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention @ www.cdc.gov.
If you have COPD or think you may be at risk, you can take steps to make breathing easier, live a longer, and have a more active life. Get a simple breathing test and talk with your doctor or health care provider about treatment options that might be right for you.
This information was taken from literature provided by the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute.
Take care and protect your value gift of comfortable breathing.
Jane S. Wynn-Helberg is a Registered Nurse and operated Visiting Angels in Paris and Texarkana. Nurse Jane will provide information about Senior Care as a contributor to “Live Heathy” here on the eParis Extra! Visit her websitewww.visitingangelsnetx.com