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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of disability and mortality, with many more potentially undiagnosed. Primarily caused by long-term smoking or exposure to toxic fumes, COPD poses risks like respiratory infections, heart disease, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, and depression. Those with chronic lung diseases, including COPD, face greater COVID-19 risks.

Factors Contributing to COPD Risk:
– Tobacco smoke exposure (including secondhand smoke)
– Asthma
– Occupational exposure to dust and chemicals
– Fumes from burning fuel
– Infections
– Genetics

Symptoms of COPD:
– Chest tightness
– Chronic cough with colored mucus
– Frequent respiratory infections
– Lack of energy
– Unintended weight loss
– Shortness of breath
– Swelling in ankles, feet, or legs
– Wheezing

– Quit smoking to prevent further damage.
– Medications, inhalers, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation.
– Managing exacerbations, endobronchial valves, surgery if needed.

Coping Strategies:
1. Avoid Smoke and Pollution:
– Quit smoking and avoid smoke-filled areas to prevent further lung damage.
– Check air quality forecasts before going out.

2. Clear Airways:
– Controlled coughing, hydration, and humidifiers can help manage mucus buildup.

3. Healthy Eating:
– Maintain strength through a balanced diet. Nutritional supplements may be advised.
– Weight management can improve breathing.

4. Regular Exercise:
– Despite breathing challenges, regular exercise strengthens overall endurance and respiratory muscles.
– Consider pulmonary rehabilitation exercise programs.

5. Learn Breathing Techniques:
– Consult healthcare professionals for efficient breathing techniques, positions, and relaxation methods during breathlessness.

6. Regular Healthcare Visits:
– Stick to appointments to monitor lung function.
– Get flu and COVID-19 vaccines for infection prevention.
– Share fears with your support network and consider joining COPD support groups.

Remember, LECCares is here for you, offering support and quality healthcare. Reach out for COPD management and overall well-being.

Note: LECCares is committed to providing support and quality healthcare to individuals living with COPD. If you have concerns or need assistance, please contact us at ‭+234 817 365 1737‬.