Staff at CIC marked World COPD day - which aims to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – with a big breakfast.
It was held at Harraby Community Centre and raised money for the British Lung Foundation.
The day, which helps people get the support they need, traditionally coincides with the start of the winter weather which can cause an increase in illness and symptoms for people with respiratory problems.
COPD describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have been narrowed. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic asthma.
Breathlessness, a cough and excess phlegm are just some of the symptoms of lung conditions which can get worse in winter and leave people vulnerable to serious chest infections, complications from flu such as pneumonia and potential hospital admission.
In winter the cold air may cause a person’s airways to become narrower. This can make breathing even more difficult than normal for someone with COPD alongside the risk of catching infections and viruses such as flu which circulate at this time of year.
The condition affects 1.2million people in the UK and millions more have COPD but don’t even know about it.
Life with COPD can be difficult. It is a progressive condition, which means there is currently no cure, and everyday tasks can become a challenge.
Dr John Atkinson, respiratory consultant, shared his tips.
He said: "Stop smoking - for people with COPD this is the most important thing they can do to help your breathing, avoid flare ups and hospital admissions, and prevent the disease getting any worse. Your local pharmacist can help you to stop with medication and support."The most important treatment for COPD is Pulmonary Rehabilitation. If you’ve not had Pulmonary Rehabilitation within the last two years, ask your doctor or nurse to refer you for it. Exercise improves the function of the heart and lungs and is good for you even if it makes you breathless.
"Flu is dangerous for people with COPD. Make sure you get your free flu jab – ask your GP.
"It is really important to maintain a healthy weight (neither overweight nor underweight – both make you more breathless), ask your GP if you need help to achieve this. A healthy diet also helps improve the immune system so it can fight infection.
"Take your inhalers regularly, as this can prevent flare-ups of your symptoms. If you find using your inhaler difficult, be sure to discuss this with your nurse, as there may be others that are more suitable for you. Make sure you have enough prescription medication for if your symptoms get worse and have this close by at all times."
Individuals who think the Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme may be beneficial to them should discuss with their GP. Further advice is available on the British Lung Foundation website at: www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/copd