It’s never too early to recognise the signs of the debilitating lung condition COPD – or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – and never too late to do something about it.
That’s the message which will be the focus of World COPD Day 2018 this week.
It’s being marked by the specialist Respiratory team at Noble’s Hospital and local British Lung Foundation support group Breathe Easy (IOM).
COPD affects 1.2 million people in the UK - that’s 2 per cent of the population - with millions more across the country unaware they have the condition.
Around 1,400 Island residents have COPD but it is thought there are potentially 2,700 people who remain undiagnosed.
Members of Breath Easy and the Respiratory team will host an information stand in the main reception area of Noble’s Hospital next Wednesday from 10 am – 4 pm.
They’ll be promoting simple, take-home messages around COPD and offering information about screening tests used to help identify the condition.
Leaflets will outline the range of treatment options for patients to improve their health, which include medication, pulmonary rehabilitation and in some cases, surgery.
Respiratory Nurse Specialist Deborah Corrin says: “COPD is something people can live with for a long time before seeking help.
“Traditional symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing and bringing-up mucus. But these are often overlooked.
“We aim to raise awareness there is help at hand which can make a real difference to sufferers.
“Members of the public might suspect they or a friend or relative has the condition - we can help them if they come forward!
“The first step is to go and see your GP, who can arrange for you to undergo a simple breathing test at your surgery.”