Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also called COPD, is the third leading cause of death in Arizona. It is a disease that damages the lungs and restricts the airways, making it difficult to get air in and out.
If you have COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, here is what you should know — it is a serious lung condition but it is not a death sentence.
When I was diagnosed with COPD, I had never heard of the four letters that would change my life forever. I have my good days when I can leave the house without using oxygen but I also have days when a simple walk to the mailbox can be overwhelming.
Although there is no cure for COPD, symptoms can be managed, and damage to your lungs can be slowed.
If you are a person who is potentially at risk for COPD, please ask your family doctor for a spirometry test — it’s quick, easy, and painless. Just blow hard into a tube for six seconds – that’s all there is to it. It just might be the best six-second investment you ever made. People who think “it won’t happen to me” and wait for symptoms to show or worsen may have already lost lung capacity.
As you spend time with family and friends through the holiday season, pass the word and encourage them to be tested as well.
If you are showing any of the symptoms associated with COPD including shortness of breath, wheezing, and increased mucus, you owe it to yourself and your family to get a quick and painless test to find out if you have COPD.
To learn more about COPD please visit the Breathe Easy Arizona Web site at www.BreatheEasyAz.org.