According to experts, adults aged over 40 may have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), a serious lung disease
COPD is a general term used for a number of respiratory conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is considered to be the main cause. Early symptoms of COPD include coughing, bringing up sputum and getting out of breath during exercise or exertion.
The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), works closely with health care professionals and public health officials around the world. It aims to increase people's awareness of COPD and improve prevention and treatment of this lung disease. According to GOLD, around three million people die every year worldwide due to COPD and up to 10% of people over 40 may be affected.
On November 15th, GOLD observed World COPD Day, with the theme 'Breathless not Helpless!
'This positive theme was chosen to emphasize that breathlessness is not an inevitable part of getting older and that treatments are available to help people who have been diagnosed with COPD to live full and active lives', GOLD said. The fifth annual day celebration also highlighted the importance of being aware of the risk factors that cause this disease and reducing exposure to them.
'Without treatment, COPD is generally a progressive disease and as it gets worse, patients become breathless during everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, walking the dog or even getting washed and dressed in the morning. A simple, painless breathing test called spirometry can confirm whether a person has COPD', GOLD explained. It also observed that, 'Worldwide, the most commonly encountered risk factor is cigarette smoking. Other important risk factors include dust and chemicals encountered on the job and smoke from biomass fuels, such as coal and wood.'