Canadian Lung Association Blog

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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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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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My Experience With Lung Cancer – Part 6: When things are hard

[See previous blogs – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5] March 6, 2015: The last month has been the hardest so far. The cancer progressed despite the new treatment, and that led to a fracture of my spine with back pain that kept me in bed for weeks. I had surgery to stabilize the back two weeks ago and finally feel that I am starting to get some strength and mobility back. And I will be starting a new chemotherapy today. It has been almost impossible to keep up any kind of morale, but again it

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Spring Forward (Daylight Savings Time)


Officially, daylight savings time begins this year on Sunday, March 8 at 2 am when clocks in most of Canada are moved forward by one hour. The phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’ reminds us which way the clocks turn. People in Saskatchewan do not change their clocks. Our ‘snowbird’ citizens who have escaped winter by travelling to Arizona and Hawaii also do not need to change their clocks. This is a good time to think about the importance of sleep and be aware of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. If you are one of the many Canadians suffering from

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Today is National Flag Day


On February 15, 1965, Canadians flew the Maple Leaf Flag for the first time. In 1965: The Beatles had 5 number one hits Bonanza was the top TV show The smoking rate was 50% Men could expect to live to the age of 67 Women could expect to live to the age of 74 A lot has changed: Beyoncé and Jay Z are the top song artists The Walking Dead is the top TV show The smoking rate is now slightly less than 20% Men can expect to live to the age of 78 Women can expect to live to

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Posted in Lung Health, Smoking & Tobacco

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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Forest Fires and Lung Health


Forest fires are often a concern in Canada, especially during dry, hot summers. People all over Canada may be affected by the smoke from forest fires. The Canadian Lung Association urges those with lung disease such as asthma and COPD to monitor their breathing and avoid exposure to smoke. If breathing problems develop, refer to your action plan or call your health-care provider. What type of health effects can be caused by forest fire smoke? For someone without lung problems, wood smoke can: irritate eyes, lungs, throat and sinuses increase the risk of heart attacks trigger headaches and allergies reduce

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, COPD, Lung Health

Larry’s new lungs

Larry Graham

Part 1: Diagnosis of COPD I’m one of the blessed and grateful people who has been given the gift of life from donor lungs. On October 21, 2012 I received a double lung transplant in Montreal after four years of being on supplemental oxygen and being on the transplant waiting list for 22 months. I still say it’s a miracle and am trying to repay that miraculous gift everyday by paying it forward and telling my story to help other people waiting for organ transplants. It all started with me growing up with chronic asthma and really bad allergies and

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What is to blame for the September Spike in asthma symptoms?

Back to school

As summer winds down, many parents start gearing up for the school year. That usually means buying school supplies and longer pants. But for parents of children with asthma, getting ready for school should also include taking steps to protect their kids from the “September Spike” – the sharp rise in kids’ asthma symptoms that happens soon after school begins. What is to blame for the September Spike in asthma symptoms? Viruses & other triggers When kids go back to school, they are suddenly at close quarters with many kids – and with the germs and viruses kids carry. Viruses, including

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Q & A: Back to school with asthma


The Canadian Lung Association interviewed Dr. Sharron Dell, from the Canadian Thoracic Society’s asthma clinical assembly on the “September Spike” in asthma symptoms. 1. What is the “September Spike” in asthma symptoms and what causes it? The “September Spike  is the rise in hospital visits for asthma that occurs consistently from year to year in September. This spike has occurred for at least the last decade in Canada and several other countries including the United Kingdom, United States amongst others. The exact cause is unknown, but scientists think it is due to a combination of factors, including viral infections, fall

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