November 16th was World COPD Day
What is COPD?
Otherwise known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), is a chronic lung condition that can lead to chronic cough, phlegm production and shortness of breath.
It affects up to 1 in 7 Australians.
Who gets COPD?
Smokers or ex smokers make up 80% of COPD cases, although passive smoking, occupational exposure and long term poorly controlled asthma are other risk factors.
How is it diagnosed?
COPD is diagnosed with a lung function test, or spirometry, which can be easily arranged through your local GP.
How is it treated?
Unfortunately COPD is not treatable but medications are available that can help with the symptoms.
Early treatment is important, so if you are a smoker (particularly over the age 35) or have any of the symptoms mentioned above it is important to be screened for COPD.
How can I prevent COPD?
Stopping smoking is by far the most important way to prevent the development of COPD.
There are lots of treatments and strategies available to help with this, and your GP would be happy to discuss these with you.
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