COPD

The primary preventable disease of the lung is Lung Cancer.
Influenza and Pneumonia also cause a significant proportion of deaths in older people.

But aside from these causes of death, Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is also a killer. It’s usually diagnosed as two conditions that cause breathing difficulties: Emphysema (damaged lungs), and Chronic Bronchitis (inflammation in lungs).

The main cause of COPD is smoking, although there can be other causes, like long-term exposure to dust. Even if you have COPD already, by stopping smoking you’ll stop it getting worse.

Treatments can ease symptoms, and slow progression, but lung damage is permanent, so prevention is the best approach.

So how to avoid getting COPD?

The American Lung Association points out that smoking is the biggest risk factor, and increases your risk of both developing and dying from COPD. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of COPD cases are caused by smoking.

So, if you smoke, you must give up.

But also, you should avoid situations which could damage your lungs, like dusty or smoky atmospheres. WebMD.com has this advice:

• Avoid secondhand smoke: Even if you aren’t a smoker, you can get COPD from living with one.
• Avoid pollution and fumes: You can get COPD from air pollution, chemical fumes, dust, or toxic substances.
• If you have asthma, treat it, otherwise lung damage over time can lead to COPD.

Sources

American Lung Association: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/symptoms-causes-risk-factors/preventing-copd.html

WebMD.com: https://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/10-faqs-about-living-with-copd

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