PATIENTS MARK COPD DAY WITH A BIG BREAKFAST
Patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have been marking an awareness day with a big breakfast to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation.
It was held at Harraby Community Centre on Monday and aims to raise money for the British Lung Foundation.
The annual awareness 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.
Suzanne Johnstone, 42, of Carlisle attended the awareness event.
She said: “My GP referred me last year after I saw an article last year on COPD and thought it might be helpful for me. I suffer from chronic back pain and COPD and was finding it really difficult to get around.
“I had no confidence going out and was really limited in what I could do. Since I started the programme l have learnt to be in control of the condition, feel fantastic and don’t want to stop going. I practice what I have learned, feel more confident and would 100 per cent recommend this to anyone suffering with COPD.”
Lewis Johnston, 70, of Carlisle, said: “My GP referred me following a series of tests and my condition wasn’t improving. I went to my first interview and discussed my symptoms. From there I went to my first class. It was really impressive.
“I didn’t realise just quite how much. They tailored my regime to meet my needs. They are incredible, on the button, very knowledgeable, great at motivating and everyone is listened to. I am feeling the benefits both physically and psychologically.”
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.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation classes are held at Harraby Community Centre in Carlisle on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon.
Patients have to be assessed at a clinic by a nurse and a physiotherapist before they can attend the classes.
Top tips that can help those with COPD include:
1. Make sure you have enough prescription medication if your symptoms get worse and have this close by at all times.
2. Keep the main rooms at 21°C and bedrooms at 18°C. Cold rooms can make breathing more difficult.
3. Those with COPD qualify for a free flu jab, ask your GP.
4. Stop smoking – for people with COPD this is the most important thing they can do to help their breathing.
5. A healthy diet helps improve the immune system so it can fight infection.
6. Exercise improves the function of the heart and lungs. Pulmonary rehabilitation classes can help people with COPD learn simple exercises to improve their breathing.
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: