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What You Wish More People Knew About COPD

Community Thoughts: What You Wish More People Knew About COPD

As part of COPD awareness month, we asked our Facebook community: “What do you wish more people knew about COPD?” Check out their responses below – and feel free to add yours in the comments! Also, we welcome you to spread awareness this month by changing your avatar, or simply by sharing articles like this and helping to educate others about COPD!

I wish they knew more about COPD symptoms:

  • I wish more people could understand the struggle to do something as simple as breathing. Simple things like showering, cooking, walking, even speaking can become a challenge for us to continue and take breaths to sustain ourselves.
  • I wish there was a better understanding of how we struggle.
  • I wish everyone could understand how it effects our mobility.
  • That when you can’t breathe it’s almost like dying.
  • Don’t make fun of our difficulty with speech. Be patient and let us catch our breath.
  • That you can be feeling good one day and terrible the next, especially during bad weather.

I wish they would work on educating themselves more:

  • Wish people would try to understand. Read up on it and ask us questions, then believe it!!!!
  • I wish folks who isn’t going through this would realize, that we have good days, and suddenly we have bad days. It’s frustrating to keep hearing, “What happened? You seemed to be fine yesterday”. They just don’t realize how quickly a flare up can happen.
  • Learn to be patient – understand COPD.
  • Everything to help us.

I wish they knew that things are not always what they appear to be:

  • People need to realize even though you look fine, you are not. I tend not to show it. So people think and say, “You look fine to me.” But I’m not.
  • We might look well on the outside but really sick inside.
  • It is hurtful when people (even relatives) say “you don’t look sick”.

I wish they knew more about the causes!

  • I wish that people would quit assuming that it all came from smoking. Not true for all.

I wish my health care team knew more:

  • I wish that nurses and doctors would have more patience in dealing with you.
  • That the doctors would learn about other treatments not always push the prescriptions.

I wish they knew more about the emotional impact:

  • The abject fear and terror that comes with it that can sometimes just totally overwhelm you.
  • It is a constant struggle physically, emotionally and psychologically.

How about you? What do you wish more people knew about COPD? Please share in the comments! 


  • KarinM43
    3 months ago

    I wish that the people around me understood how much their perfumes and strong scents like fried onions can affect my breathing. I will be feeling fine one moment and the next I’ll be sick for a number of days because someone walked past me wearing strong/musky perfume. (It feels like I’ve breathed cayenne pepper into my lungs)

  • melaniem moderator
    3 months ago

    I hear you KarinM43, scent can be a big trigger for many: Thanks for sharing your experience with us. ~Melanie Merritt ( team member)

  • K Curreen
    4 years ago

    I wish that people even people that have not lung disease new how volatile their lungs are how easy they can damage.

    I wish that people knew the signs and symptoms like coughing more mucus pleghlem, shortness of breath just to talk walk or on excertion and that if you have any of these signs that you can in Nz get a free governmental spiromitory testing for this and as soon as you have trouble to get tested.

    I wish that people knew that COPD can be caused through sinus issues asthma, recurrent bronchitis as when you get a chest Iinfeinfection it leaves scarring in your lungs, dust can casue COPD.

    I wish that people realized that people like me are as yoing as 41 and have COPD I also live alone don’t get me wrong I am loving it and fine with it just want to put it out there and make people and caregivers aware as I also have rheumatoid arthritis and COPD together this can be a struggle.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    3 months ago

    Next month is COPD Awareness Month and we are hoping to have lots of information available for those that suffer from COPD along with their caregivers. It seems it is very hard for others to understand our suffering. Thank you for bring up a touchy subject. Barbara Moore (site moderator)

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