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November, 2012:Things your lungs will be thankful for!
Last month, an historic hurricane washed away dreams and basic needs in less than two days. The aftereffects of such a storm will include health issues for some people. Some of those issues are breathing and lung concerns, and not just for loss of electric power to hospitals or private residences where using respiratory aids keeps people alive. Breathing the air in some locations may mean you are breathing in mold and mildew and toxins.
November is both Lung Cancer Awareness Month and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Awareness Month. COPD usually means emphysema and chronic bronchitis resulting from inhalation of cigarette smoke. Other causes include exposure to occupational dust particles and chemicals, as well as a rare genetic mutation called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.
Did you know that the American Lung Association has provided information and support regarding lung diseases and COPD for more than a century?
According to Dr. Norman Edelman, the American Lung Association’s Chief Medical Officer, “Currently, it is estimated that only 21-35% of primary care physicians order spirometry for their symptomatic smokers. If people with COPD can not only be aware, but know the next steps to take with a physician visit and spirometry, their COPD stands a better chance of being treated according to medical guidelines that improve health outcomes.”
Symptoms include a chronic cough, production of mucus, feeling short of breath, feeling as if you can’t get enough air, and wheezing.
- COPD is a chronic disease that causes shortness of breath and makes breathing difficult and less effective.
Go to this website for more information: www.lungusa.org - the American Lung Association. And review the information here - http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/helping-a-smoker-quit - before trying to help someone quit smoking!
That brings us right to the fact that November 15th is the Great American Smokeout. Help your friends, your loved ones and yourself kick the habit at last! And lend a hand if you can as this great City, New York City, restores itself for us all following Hurricane Sandy’s horrific visit to the five boroughs and beyond.