1) COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a long-term lung disease often caused by smoking. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
2) The symptoms of COPD include: a cough that lasts a long time, or coughing up “stuff” (mucus), feeling short of breath, especially when you are making an effort (climbing stairs, exercising), many lung infections that last a long time (the flu, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.)
3) A “smokers” cough is not normal, if you have a cough that last 3 weeks or longer, you should talk to your doctor.
4) COPD can be diagnosed with a simple breathing test called spirometry
5) When COPD is diagnosed early, it’s easier to manage. If you don’t get diagnosed early, it will be harder to treat and you will have more symptoms and more lung damage.
6) Most COPD can be prevented by not smoking and staying away from second-hand smoke.
7) COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in Canada.
10) The Lung Association has a free, confidential COPD Helpline: 1-866-717-2673 (1-866-717-COPD)