November is National COPD Awareness Month. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.
COPD by the Numbers
- 37 million Americans have COPD, but nearly half of those (12 million) don’t even know that they have it.
- 1 minute can save your life; simply take this short 5 question Risk Screener Survey to determine if you could be at risk
- 9 Comorbidities (having more than 1 disease or health issue) that are commonly associated with COPD include:
- There are 2 Main Types of COPD – Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema are the most common; however, the term COPD refers to a number of progressive lung diseases.
- 90% of Emphysema COPD occur in those over the age of 45
- 70% of Chronic Bronchitis COPD occur in those over the age of 45
- Women are 2x more likely to have Chronic Bronchitis COPD than men
Who Gets COPD?
There are a number of reasons that people can be affected by this disease, including:
- Smokers – those who smoke (or have smoked for long periods of time) represent the largest amount of people diagnosed with this disease.
- Mechanics, Construction Workers, Shipyard Workers may be more susceptible to COPD because of damage done to their lungs while working in certain conditions that may have caused them to breathe in particles of asbestos.
- Others – there are others who may get COPD due to other predispositions and possibly due to genetics.
What is COPD?
To understand what it feels like to have this disease, imagine trying to get all of your air by breathing through a straw. You feel as though you have an elephant on your chest.
How can COPD affect your life?
- Conversation – Having COPD can affect your ability to easily converse with others; especially as it progresses.
- Walking – Walking can make you out of breath very quickly; limiting your ability to move around easily
- Everyday Tasks – Simple everyday tasks can become extremely difficult or even impossible. Things as simply as getting dressed, bathing, and making meals can become too taxing and require help from others.
- Exercise – Unlike other diseases; exercising doesn’t help you battle COPD. It’s beneficial, of course, to remain active as long as possible simply to ward off some of the side affects (comorbidities).
Remember that Accredited Home Care can help make your life better by offering a professional caregiver to assist you; making your life easier.
Healthline – COPD Facts & Statistics
The COPD Foundation
Picture by COPD Foundation