It’s never too early to recognise the signs of the debilitating lung condition COPD – or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – and never too late to do something about it.
That message will be the focus of World COPD Day 2018 this week, which will be marked by the specialist Respiratory team at Noble’s Hospital and local British Lung Foundation support group Breathe Easy (IOM).
COPD affects 1.2 million people in the UK - that’s 2% of the population - with millions more across the country unaware they have the condition.
Around 1,400 Island residents have COPD but it is thought there are potentially 2,700 people who remain undiagnosed. The awareness day aims to reach them.
Members of Breath Easy and the Respiratory team will host an information stand in the main reception area of Noble’s Hospital on Wednesday 21 November from 10am – 4pm. They’ll be promoting simple, take-home messages around COPD and offering information about screening tests used to help identify the condition. Leaflets will outline the range of treatment options for patients to improve their health, which include medication, pulmonary rehabilitation and in some cases, surgery.
Deborah Corrin Respiratory Nurse Specialist said:
‘COPD is something people can live with for a long time before seeking help. Traditional symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing and bringing-up mucus. But these are often overlooked. We aim to raise awareness there is help at hand which can make a real difference to sufferers. Members of the public might suspect they or a friend or relative has the condition - we can help them if they come forward! The first step is to go and see your GP, who can arrange for you to undergo a simple breathing test at your surgery.’
‘Members of the Island’s Breathe Easy group will be available throughout the day and are more than happy to spend time talking with you.’
Breathe Easy holds an informal friendly meeting on the third Thursday of the month at 2pm at the St John Ambulance headquarters on Glencrutchery Road, Douglas. All are very welcome to attend.