November is COPD Awareness Month

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects millions of Americans. It is the third leading cause of disease-related death in the U.S. The good news is that COPD is often preventable and treatable. If you or a loved one has COPD, there are steps to take to cope with the lifestyle changes this disease brings.

Get the Facts

  • COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe.
  • COPD is almost always caused by smoking.
  • COPD gets worse over time. You cannot undo the damage to your lungs.
  • Many people don’t recognize the symptoms of COPD until the later stages of the disease.
  • Some think they are short of breath or less able to go about their normal activities because they are “just getting older.”
  • COPD is most common in people who are older than 60.
  • People who have COPD are more likely to get lung infections.

Take Action

If you experience any of the following symptoms or think you might be at risk for COPD, it is essential to discuss this with your doctor:

  • Chronic cough.
  • Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea).
  • Frequent respiratory infections.
  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis).
  • Fatigue.
  • Producing a lot of mucus (also called phlegm or sputum).
  • Wheezing.

The best way to slow COPD is to quit smoking. It is never too late to quit. No matter how long you have smoked or how severe your COPD is, quitting smoking can help stop the damage to your lungs. Also, consider the following:

  • Avoid things that can irritate your lungs, such as smoke and air pollution.
  • Use an air filter in your home.
  • Get regular exercise to stay as strong as you can.
  • Eat well so you can keep up your strength.
  • Maintain good mental health.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public in learning more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

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