Do you know what COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is? This chronic lung disease is a major cause of illness, yet many people have it and don’t know it. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. “Progressive” means that the disease gets worse over time.
If you answer these questions, it will help you find out if you could have COPD:
1. Do you cough several times most days?
2. Do you bring up phlegm or mucus most days?
3. Do you get out of breath more easily than others your age?
4. Are you older than 40 years?
5. Are you a current smoker or an ex-smoker?
If you answered “YES” to three or more of these questions, ask your doctor if you might have COPD.
Finding COPD early gives the best chance to prevent further lung damage. However, treatments are available to help people at all stages of disease feel better and live a more active life.
It’s not too late to get help for COPD!
COPD is a leading cause of death worldwide, ranking behind ischemic heart disease and stroke. It kills nearly 3 million people a year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And yet perhaps one-quarter to one-half of people with the disease don’t know they have it. It is COPD, which means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a life-threatening disease that progressively robs people of breath. Yet there is good news. There is help for COPD. COPD can be diagnosed with a quick, painless lung function test called spirometry—it’s almost as simple as blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.And for people diagnosed with COPD, there are medications and treatments available to help them feel better and live longer.
So, if you are a current or ex-smoker, are over age 40, and you have symptoms like a chronic cough, bringing up phlegm, and breathlessness, it’s time for a checkup. It’s not too late to get help for COPD!