November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month, so here are a couple of facts and tips to keep in mind if you’ve been diagnosed with or know someone who has COPD:

  • COPD is actually a blanket term for any of the following chronic lung diseases: Chronic Bronchitis, Chronic Adult Asthma, Emphysema, Bronchiectasis and Bronchiolitis.
  • Up to 50% of Americans with COPD are undiagnosed.
  • Up to 14% of COPD sufferers have Alpha-1 Antitrypsis Deficiency. If you have been diagnosed with COPD talk to you doctor about being tested for Alpha-1.
  • COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S and this number is projected to increase by 30% in the next 10 years unless urgent action is taken to reduce the underlying risks.
  • Smoking cessation is the intervention with the greatest capacity to influence the natural evolution of COPD and have an effect on subsequent mortality.
  • Know your respiratory medications, what they do, how to use them and options if you feel they’re not working for you. There are many medications on the market, which means you have many choices. If you’re not sure why you’re taking certain medications, ask your doctor or give us a call.
  • Along with washing your hands, keeping your respiratory supplies and equipment clean is one of the best things you can do to prevent infections.
  • Cold weather masks provided by Breathe PA warm the cold air before you breathe it in. For some it can mean the difference between staying in and going out. Don’t miss your grandkid’s Christmas play because the cold air tightens your lungs up. Call us for a mask or ask at your pulmonary rehab facility.