Today, November 20, is World COPD Day!
World COPD Day is annually organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) since 2002. Health care professionals and COPD patient groups throughout the world work alongside GOLD to promote awareness of the disease. Ireland can find special appreciation for this day, as it has had one of the highest age standardised death rates from COPD.
The current statistics show 250,000 people have been diagnosed with COPD in Ireland. However, there are thought to be more than 500,000 individuals living with the disease undiagnosed. The acronym stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is often dismissed by individuals as “smoker’s cough.” The leading cause of COPD is smoking and the longer one smokes, the more at risk they become. Nevertheless, one must not confuse COPD with “smoker’s cough.” The brushing aside of the disease puts individuals at greater risk of lung damage and prevents them from proactively making their conditions better.
Symptoms of COPD include: increasing breathlessness when exercising or moving around, a persistent cough with phlegm that never seems to go away, and frequent chest infections, particularly in winter. These symptoms tend to become noticale after the age of 35 and occur more in men than women.
Here at Siel Bleu Ireland we recognize the need for assisting the percentage of the population that has COPD. That is why we offer pulmonary rehabilitation programmes throughout Ireland to individuals after they released from their hospital programmes. The project is called Exercise, COPD & Me and has yielded great responses from individuals across the country. On participant says, ““It’s a superb class, and without the class I would have never expected that I could do one hours excersice continuously. I might at home do 10 minutes or 15 minutes. It’s great to know you can do an hour and I can’t wait to get here next week!” Another participant explains that she is fond of the class for the completive-fun that comes with exercising with others. The programme provides a great reminder that those who have COPD are not alone. Classes focus on increasing one’s physical capacity, decreasing anxiety related to breathlessness and creating greater independence for individual’s through exercise. If you think you or someone you know qualifies and can benefit from this programme, don’t hesitate! Contact us with any questions!