Did you know November is COPD Awareness Month? Not only is orange the color of the season, but it also represents COPD. Join us as we recognize this disease and how it impacts thousands of lives every day.
What is COPD?
COPD is short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Contrary to popular belief, COPD is not one condition, but an umbrella term for a variety of respiratory conditions. It is an inflammation of the lungs marked by constant breathlessness. There are two main kinds of COPD.
Chronic Bronchitis: Often displayed in shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness, chronic bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Because it is chronic, it never goes away. It is typically caused by smoking. However, air pollution over a long period of time may also be the culprit.
Emphysema: Unfortunately, this disease gets worse over time. It causes damage to the structure of the lungs. As you breathe, the lung tissue goes from being sponge-like to having larger holes that make it more difficult to breathe. This is due to the over inflation of the small air sacs in the lungs. Like chronic bronchitis, it is usually caused by smoking cigarettes.
How to Get Support
COPD isn’t a battle you should fight alone. If you think you may have COPD, the first thing you should do is seek diagnosis and treatment from a doctor. They will be able to aid in providing resources for the physical and emotional symptoms. These may be occupational, physical and mental health therapists.
In addition to healthcare, you should also seek out a social system of support. You can do this not only by asking friends and family for support but reaching out to others who know exactly what you are going through. There are support groups and helplines that are a great resource. Handling it alone can be challenging and leaves many feeling down if they do not have a support system in place. Seek help.
If you or a loved one has COPD, help spread awareness about the disease. This helps there to be more support systems nationwide. Here are some ideas that you can do this month!
- Educate - Make or hand out informational brochures about the condition and resources for support
- Share - Share this blog on social media
- Start a Support Group - If there isn’t a COPD support group nearby, start your own
- Tell the Youth - Because smoking is a major indicator of COPD, help prevent others from getting it by promoting anti-smoking events and initiatives
Now that you know all about COPD, you’ll be an expert this month by helping us spread awareness! If you have questions about how we can help with COPD, contact us today.