COPD Awareness: 15 Ways it Makes A Difference
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We all know that, right? Some of us do, but not all.
Do you know that many people do not know what COPD is? I have actually been asked if it’s like OCD with the letters turned around! When I say no, they struggle to guess what COPD could possibly be. It makes sense then, that awareness is needed.
How can COPD awareness make a difference?
- It lets people know that COPD is real and that it can affect all people.
- It lets people know that this is the third leading cause of death.
- It lets people know that smoking is the leading cause of COPD.
- But it also lets people know that things other than smoking can cause COPD, such as 2nd hand smoke, environmental pollution, chemicals, dust, burning wood, kerosene, paint, asbestos and more.
- It helps people to make the choice to quit smoking.
- It lets people know that there are actually three types of COPD: Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (A1AT), which is a genetic disorder that causes defective production of alpha-1 antitrypsin
- It lets people know that early symptoms of COPD are: shortness of breath, wheezing, mucus, coughing, cyanosis which is a blue tint in the lips and fingernails, tightness in chest, unexpected weight loss, and recurrent respiratory infections.
- It lets people know that nutrition and weight are so important.
- It lets people know that in the final stages of COPD, more people are prone to lose weight as they burn calories by breathing.
- It lets people know that testing for COPD is fairly easy and can be done by X-ray, CT Scan and Spirometry, also called Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) which shows how well lungs deliver oxygen to blood.
- It lets people know that some COPDers do get lung cancer.
- It lets people know that there are four stages of COPD: Stage 1 is mild, less than 80% expiratory lung function; Stage 2 is moderate, 50% to 79% expiratory lung function; Stage 3 is severe, 30% to 49% expiratory lung function; Stage 4 is very severe, expiratory lung function is 29% and below.
- It lets people know that COPD is non-reversible, however the progression of COPD can be slowed.
- It lets people know that funding is needed for research and so many things related to COPD.
- It lets people know that through awareness, we can make a difference!
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