Lung Health and COPD
May is Lung Health Month at Carmi Remedy’s Rx
COPD affects more than 12 million people. Find out what COPD is and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing COPD. Be aware of the risk factors
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that makes it hard to breath; this includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The disease is progressive, which means that the disease worsens over time. Symptoms of COPD include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and large amounts of mucus. Generally COPD occurs because the lungs are obstructed or blocked, which make it difficult to get adequate air. For example, for someone emphysema the alveoli (air sacs in your lungs) become damaged. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is a result of swollen, mucus filled lungs.
The causes of COPD vary and can be caused by genetics, occupational dust and chemicals, second hand spoke, lung infections in childhood, inhaling wood smoke, animal dung, crop residues and other biomass used for cooking. However smoking is by far the leading cause of COPD, causing around 80-90% of cases.
COPD is currently the third leading cause of death in the United States, which causes 120,000 American deaths each year. About 12 million people have been diagnosed with COPD and it is estimated that there remains about another 12 million that go undiagnosed.
Awareness is key to fighting this deadly disease. It is important for you to recognize the risk factors, what you can do if you are at risk and how to cope with the symptoms.
Risk factors include:
- Shortness of breath, chronic cough, trouble performing daily tasks such as climbing stairs and running errands
- Are over the age of 40 and used to smoke or current smoke
- Have genetic predispositions
- Have worked or lived around chemicals or fumes
We highly recommend speaking to your healthcare provider if you may be at risk. If you have questions about COPD your Cami Remedy’s Rx Pharmacist here in Pentiction would be happy to answer your questions.