The official blog of the Lung Institute.
November is National COPD Awareness Month. This year, World COPD Day 2016 will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. The purpose of World COPD Day 2016 is to help raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
What is World COPD Day 2016?
Organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases (GOLD) and in collaboration with COPD patient groups and health care professionals across the world, World COPD Day is an event with the goal to raise awareness about COPD and to help improve care internationally.
Traditionally, World COPD Day is held on the third Wednesday in November, and the first World COPD Day was held in 2002. Since the first event, 50 countries worldwide have joined together, making World COPD Day one of the most important COPD awareness and education events.
The theme for World COPD Day 2016 is “Breathe in the Knowledge,” inviting people to better understand COPD, help raise awareness about the pulmonary condition to others and improve COPD care worldwide.
What is COPD?
COPD is a progressive form of chronic lung disease and is characterized by the restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs. In fact, COPD encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD affects everyone differently and at varying rates of progression. Many people with COPD experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, constant coughing, wheezing and fatigue.
Men and women can develop COPD. Typically, COPD develops later in life, causing problems for people who are over 40 years old. However, there are some cases of COPD in younger people as well.
The number one cause of COPD is smoking. Former and current cigarette smokers are at the highest risk of developing COPD. Long-term exposure to air pollutants, dust, chemical fumes and other occupational and environmental hazards can also cause COPD. For some people, COPD develops because of a rare genetic disorder, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
While there is no cure for COPD, treatment options such as medications, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehab and stem cell therapy are available. Traditional medications and treatments work to manage COPD symptoms. However, stem cell therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs, potentially addressing the disease itself and improving lung function.
How can I get involved in World COPD Day 2016?
There are many ways for you to get involved in World COPD Day 2016. You can start by helping to raise awareness about COPD and educating your friends, family, coworkers and community.
If you’re hosting a World COPD Day 2016 event, you can send information about your activity to the GOLD website, and it could be posted on their site. Also, you can spread the word about your event in your local community to excite people to come learn more.
Join us for World COPD Day 2016 and be part of the movement to raise COPD awareness.