World COPD Day
Wednesday 18th November is World COPD Day, which raises awareness around those living with chronic lung conditions, how these conditions can be managed and how to spot the symptoms.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a term which describes a group of lung conditions where the airways in lungs have narrowed, meaning it’s difficult for air to be emptied out. Two of these conditions are:
- Bronchitis – where the airways in lungs become inflamed and narrowed.
- Emphysema – where air sacs in lungs break down and cause trapped air.
They are both chronic and often occur together.
Causes of COPD
The main cause of COPD is long term damage to lungs from breathing in harmful substances, such as cigarette smoke or exposure to fumes and chemicals. The symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath when doing everyday tasks.
- Long-term coughing.
- Wheezing in cold weather.
- Producing more sputum/phlegm than usual.
In severe cases you may notice loss in appetite, weight loss and swollen ankles as well as the main symptoms.
Click here to take an online breath test to see an indication of your lung health.
If you are concerned about your lung health, it is important that you seek medical advice.
COPD vs Asthma
COPD and asthma are not the same. People with COPD have airways which are permanently narrowed. With asthma, the narrowing of airways is something which comes and goes when you’re exposed to a trigger, such as dust or pollen. If you feel breathless and experience other symptoms such as coughing and a tight chest, but they come and go, you may have asthma. People with asthma can develop COPD in later life so it is important to know the symptoms of COPD and seek medical advice if you think you are developing the lung condition.
How can I get involved with World COPD Day?
The British Lung Foundation are asking for donations to help fund their COPD services and research, click here to visit their website and give a one-off/monthly donation.
Whilst you are there you can also learn more about COPD and listen to people’s stories about how they are managing their lung condition, including adapting to the challenges brought by COVID-19. The more people who are aware of COPD, the more lung conditions can be caught early and treated more effectively.
You can also get involved throughout the year to raise awareness for COPD through campaigns and fundraising with the British Lung foundation. Click here to find out more.
How CCH can support you
One of the best ways to manage COPD is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are living in Cheshire West and Chester and have been diagnosed with COPD, you may be eligible for our smoking cessation service. Click here to find out more.
For those living with COPD, the British Lung Foundation offer advice and support for managing flare-ups and your overall wellbeing. Click here to find out more.
To find out about treatments available for COPD, click here.
Click here to read inspirational stories about people living with COPD.
Click here to complete your COPD passport – an online assessment to help you find out whether you are receiving the care you are entitled to. It’s free and completely confidential.