Among chronic diseases, those affecting the lungs and respiratory system often get very little press and generate little discussion within the community. However, the month of November offers a chance to change that with an emphasis on COPD awareness as well as the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for this disease.
What Is COPD Awareness Month?
COPD Awareness Month is celebrated around the world throughout November and is designed as a way for individuals to learn more about this disease while providing increased support for those currently seeking COPD management. With over 15.3 million Americans currently diagnosed with COPD, most people know someone with this disease. However, it is highly likely that millions more adults have this disease but have not yet been diagnosed. This month has been designed as a way to get the word out about this illness to improve treatment and long-term quality of life.
What Is COPD?
COPD is a commonly used acronym for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a term that refers to both chronic bronchitis along with emphysema. With either manifestation of COPD, individuals find it difficult to breathe. One of the most common symptoms of COPD is shortness of breath although many also experience a chronic cough that eventually worsens. Without treatment, early death is likely, but lifestyle changes, appropriate respiratory care and emotional support can help individuals find better quality of life.
What Are Causes of and Risk Factors for COPD?
A huge majority of COPD cases can be traced back to cigarette smoking. However, even nonsmokers can find themselves with this diagnosis. This is because exposure to certain chemicals as well as certain genetic conditions can lead to COPD as well. Those who are constantly surrounded by air pollution, who breathe in secondhand smoke or who work or live around certain types of chemicals or fumes may find that these air toxins narrow the passages leading to their lungs, eventually harming the tiny air sacs in the lungs themselves.
How Can COPD Be Managed?
The most important step that individuals should take when dealing with long-term shortness of breath or a chronic cough is to have an honest conversation with a trusted doctor. After diagnosis, a health care professional will help patients choose the best way to manage their symptoms. Common treatments may include medications, home care and possibly even surgery in some cases.
For some patients, it can be difficult to get the resources they need to feel their best, experience the highest possible quality of life and continue on with their favorite activities. This is where SuperCare Health can help. SuperCare Health provides a variety of respiratory care programs and, most notably, the iBreathe program for premier COPD management that can be easily used at home. In a 90-day study, iBreathe has noticeably reduced hospital admissions overall, decreased the length of hospital admissions, and saved patients a great deal of money.
SuperCare Health provides high-quality respiratory care to post-acute patients from the comfort of their own homes, helping them avoid future hospitalizations and managing their home care with specialty pharmaceuticals, home medical equipment and much more for improved quality of life. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to catch up on our latest news and to learn more about our company.