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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The top five questions (and answers) from The Lung Association’s Lung Health Helpline


I’ve just been diagnosed with COPD. What does that mean? COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is largely caused by smoking, but it can also be caused by second-hand smoke, toxins in the environment that you breathe in, and genetics. COPD develops over time. In most cases, it is diagnosed in people over 40 years of age. Someone with COPD may not realize they are becoming more short of breath until it becomes very hard to do simple tasks like walking up stairs. When you have COPD, your lungs are obstructed or blocked, making

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Posted in COPD

It’s Lung Month. Do you know where your air has been?

One in Five have lung disease

At The Lung Association, we know what’s like for people to struggle to take a deep breath, or even their next breath. That anxious, panicked feeling when there just isn’t enough air. Did you know it has a name? It’s called “air hunger.” If you’ve ever had the wind knocked out of you, you may remember it. We are working every day to stop that feeling. There are millions of unsung heroes—one out of every five, in fact—across this country who struggle to breathe every day. We support their journey and salute their patience. And we want you to meet

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Posted in Lung Health

7 Tips for Clean Air Day

7 Tips for Clean Air

By Connie Choy, Provincial Air Quality Coordinator/Smoke-Free Homes & Asthma Program Coordinator at The Ontario Lung Association Clean Air Day is a great time to think about ways to keep the air we breathe as clean and healthy as possible. Look at these tips to help lead to cleaner air: • Check the air quality readings in your local area. Visit for your local conditions. • If there is poor air quality expected or a smog day forecast, stay indoors in a cool environment and keep windows and doors closed. Reschedule outdoor activities to another day if possible. Exercise indoors

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Top 5 Quit Tips: Simple, Effective Quit Tips to Overcome a Complex, Deadly Addiction to Tobacco


Guest post by Mary Lynn Pender, Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association Smokers’ Helpline I’ve been helping people quit smoking for 11 years. Through hearing the stories, struggles and successes of people who are working on overcoming tobacco addiction, helpline counselors (also known as quit coaches) have learned a great deal about the different approaches to quitting and what strategies seem to be most effective. Unfortunately there’s no magic answer that works for everyone. However, here are five key strategies to help you quit: 1. Get motivated. Consider personal reasons for making this change. Whether it’s to reduce their

Posted in Smoking & Tobacco

Celebrating Canadian Women’s Achievements in Respiratory Health on International Women’s Day

Dina Brooks

March 8 is International Women’s Day and the Canadian Lung Association would like to salute all the wonderful women who have made a contribution to improving the lung health of Canadians. In particular, we celebrate the many achievements of Dr. Dina Brooks who has been recently selected by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Executive Committee to receive an International Service Award in the area of research. This award honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to physical therapy internationally or within their region. Dr. Brooks was nominated for this award by the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists

Posted in COPD, Stories, volunteer

Tina’s Journey with pulmonary hypertension

Tina Proulx

As a 21 year old woman attending college in Toronto, it was very difficult for me to imagine that an illness could possibly hit me at this stage in my life, but it did. I slowly started to notice that my daily walk to school was actually getting more difficult to do and not easier, which struck me as being odd. So I brought up my concerns with my family doctor. A misdiagnosis of a mild case of asthma along with a variety of puffers led me to believe that all was good, but I wasn’t getting any better. After

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Posted in Pulmonary hypertension, Stories

Moving research discoveries from the lab to patients, looking for cures for preemie babies with breathing difficulties

Dr. Bernard Thébaud

Dr. Bernard Thébaud still remembers the time when he told a mother that her premature baby was dying from a lung disease and she asked: “Isn’t there anything you can do for my baby now?” “That’s when I realized that I needed to move research findings quicker from the labs into treatments for patients,” recalls Dr. Thébaud, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and a senior scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. That baby had a genetic condition known as surfactant protein B deficiency. In the lungs, the

Posted in Research

Keep your lungs healthy this holiday season: how to avoid potential triggers

Keep your lungs healthy this holiday season: how to avoid potential triggers Lung health in the holidays: avoid potential triggers ‘Tis the season to be jolly…but if you have a long-term breathing disease like asthma or COPD, ‘tis the season to be on guard, too. Research shows that people with asthma and COPD are more likely to be hospitalized during the Christmas holiday period. The main reason – people pick up colds and other germs at social events, and these viruses trigger flare-ups. Scented candles and mould found on Christmas trees also trigger symptoms for some people. In addition, extra

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10 facts you should know about COPD


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

Posted in COPD

Do not share your asthma medications with anyone.

During Lung Month, the Canadian Lung Association would like to remind people not to share their asthma medications with anyone. Asthma is a chronic disease that makes your lungs very sensitive and hard to breathe. Asthma can’t be cured, but with proper treatment, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives. It’s estimated that three million Canadians have asthma. “It is important to note that people with asthma can participate in sports if their asthma is under control,” says Marion Larocque, a certified respiratory educator with The Lung Association of Saskatchewan. “Never borrow someone else’s medications – all asthma medications

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Posted in Asthma