WORLD COPD DAY
On the third Wednesday in November, World COPD Day raises awareness for this preventable and treatable lung disease. It’s also a day to present new knowledge of this disease and provide hope for patients.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of death for Americans. It is also the third leading cause of death in the world. Those with COPD usually have either emphysema or chronic bronchitis. This long-term lung disease affects 16 million Americans. On a global scale, 65 million people have COPD. These numbers are probably not accurate, however. This is because many people don’t even realize they have COPD.
- Symptoms of this disease include:
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath doing everyday activities
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Producing excessive amounts of mucus or phlegm
Some people also experience complications associated with COPD. Heart conditions, lung cancer, high blood pressure, and depression are common complications.
The primary cause of COPD is smoking cigarettes. Exposure to other contaminants can also lead to COPD. Some of these contaminants include mineral dust, welding fumes, exhaust fumes, smoke from fires, and chemical gases. Unfortunately, most of these kinds of contaminants are found in occupations, such as mining, farming, welding, construction, painting, and firefighting. Quitting smoking and limiting exposure to contaminants greatly reduces one’s chances of getting COPD.
There is no cure for COPD. However, there are treatment options that reduce symptoms and improve breathing. Some of the most common ways to treat COPD include inhalers, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, diaphragmatic breathing, and physical exercise.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldCOPDDay
On this day, organizers in 50 countries carry out activities and education events to spread awareness for COPD. These events include conferences with keynote speakers, webinars, and free lung function testing.
- If you have symptoms of COPD, make an appointment with your doctor.
- Wear an orange ribbon for COPD awareness.
- Test the capacity of your lungs with an online breath test.
- Read about famous people with COPD, such as Christy Turlington, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Leonard Nimoy, and Pat Nixon.
- Donate to an organization that funds research and education for COPD.
- Encourage those with COPD to share their stories with others.
Help spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldCOPDDay.
WORLD COPD DAY HISTORY
The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstruction Lung Disease (GOLD) established World COPD Day in 2002.
16 November 2022
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