World COPD Day is celebrated with the aim to raise awareness about the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and improve COPD care worldwide. It is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) in collaboration with health care professionals and COPD patient groups throughout the world. World COPD Day 2019 is celebrated on 20 November with the theme “The Many Faces of COPD”.
COPD is a life-threatening lung disease which results in breathing problem due to obstruction in the airways. In some cases the air sacs (alveoli) get damaged gradually leading to a condition called Emphysema. In other cases, the airways get inflamed (irritation) leading to a condition called chronic bronchitis.
According to the World Health Organization, there are about 64 million people suffering from COPD worldwide. More than 3 million people died of COPD in 2005. As per the study, COPD will become the third leading cause of death by 2030 worldwide.
Are you at risk?
- Exposure to tobacco smoke-active as well as passive smoking
- Asthmatic patients who smoke are at a higher the risk of COPD
- Exposure to outdoor and indoor Pollution such as air pollution, biofuel used for cooking and heating can lead to COPD.
- Occupational exposure to dust and chemical-long term exposure to chemical fumes and dust irritates the lungs and can cause inflammation.
- Family history with low levels of protein alpha-1 antitrypsin (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) is a disorder that runs in families increases the risk of COPD
- Age-COPD develops gradually over the years, so symptoms appear usually at the age of 35 to 40.
SYMPTOMS OF COPD
- Shortness of breath (Dyspnoea)
- Wheezing (whistling sound while breathing)
- Chest tightness
- Cough with mucus often called smoker’s cough
- Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
- Avoid smoking-Active as well as passive (second hand) smoking as it is one of the leading causes of COPD.
- Avoid outdoor and indoor pollution such as air pollution, chemical fumes and dust.
- Avoid moving in congested or overcrowded places such as heavy traffic, market places, and chemical factories.
- Use of mask or any protective equipment to avoid occupational exposure of dust and chemicals.
- Take healthy diet to reduce the risk of respiratory infections
- Avoid exposure to fireworks, crackers, and fumes, in case you are a COPD patient.
Complications of COPD
- Respiratory infections such as cold, flu and pneumonia
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems including heart attack
- Lung cancer