COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 

 November is COPD Awareness Month

      

 What is COPD?   

  • 3rd leading killer in U.S

  • 2nd leading cause of disability in U.S.

  • About 1 in 15 NH adults have it

  • 1 in 2 who have it...don't know it yet.         

 

      
Read the 2014 Issue Brief here   

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease that, over time, makes it hard to breathe. You may have heard COPD called other names, like chronic bronchitis or emphysema. In COPD, the airways—the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs—are partly blocked, making it difficult to get air in and out.

Who is at risk?

  • Smoking or having a history of smoking
  • Long-term exposure to things that can irritate your lungs (secondhand smoke, certain chemicals, dusts or fumes)
  • Genetic factors (a condition known as alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency)
  • Eating bacon, sausage and other cured meats that can reduce lung functions

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Constant coughing, sometimes called "smoker's cough"'
  • Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities
  • Excess sputum or phlegm production
  • Being unable to take a deep breath
  • Wheezing

How is COPD diagnosed?

The breathing test used to diagnose COPD is spirometry. The simple test measures the amount of air you can blow out of your lungs and how fast you can blow it out.

How is COPD treated?

COPD is different for every person and your doctor will decide the best treatment for you. Quitting smoking is the most helpful and cost-effective way to prevent and slow the progression of COPD. Your doctor may talk to you about these options:

  • Staying away from all tobacco smoke
  • Avoiding things that can bother your lungs, such as dust, fumes, chemicals or smog
  • Taking medicines to help treat symptoms like coughing or wheezing
  • Getting yearly flu shots
  • Using oxygen therapy
  • Staying active and joining a pulmonary rehabilitation program
  • Joining a support group

Is there a cure for COPD?

There is no cure for COPD. The damage to your airways and lungs cannot be reversed, but there are things you can do to feel better and slow the damage. You can take steps to make breathing easier and live a longer and more active life.

 

  

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Resources

Newly Diagnosed Now What? 

What is Alpha-1?

COPD Screenings

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs in NH

Map of Pulmonary Rehab Programs in NH

Eager Breather's Fresh Air Day Cruise

 

Publications 

COPD Brochure

COPD Fact Sheet

COPD:  Are You at Risk?

Breathe Better with a COPD Diagnosis

4 Reasons to Learn More about COPD

Landscape of COPD in NH 2014 Issue Brief

COPD in NH 2011 Issue Brief

 

 

 

COPD Get the Facts

 

 

More Links for COPD

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - Learn More Breathe Better

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - COPD

COPD Foundation

COPD International

National Institutes of Health - Medline Plus - COPD

National Jewish Health - COPD

U.S. COPD Coalition