More than 11 million individuals in the United States alone have COPD. However, there might be millions more that might be suffering from it without actually knowing it.
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes two diseases, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which usually co-exist. These lung diseases both negatively impact lung health through breathing difficulties because of obstructed airflow through the lungs. Specific factors have been known to contribute to the development of COPD significantly. Knowing these factors could help in maintaining optimal lung health if you consult preventative care. Lehi, Utah has many such centers thatcould help you maintain your health.
1. Quit Smoking Now
The American Lung Association states that COPD is currently the third leading cause of death in the U.S. but that quitting smoking could have prevented 85% to 90% of these deaths. If you’re not a smoker, don’t take up the habit; if you’re a regular smoker, stop smoking right now, according to a preventative care specialist in Lehi. Professionals also strongly urge people to ask for professional help and support from loved ones and friends if they can’t quit.
2. Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Many studies have consistently shown that exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increases the risk of developing COPD.
3. Avoid or Limit Exposure to Irritants in the Workplace
These include miners who work with gold and cadmium, as well as those who work with grain, cotton dust, mineral dust, chemical fumes, coal dust, and concrete dust.
4. Avoid Air Pollutants
These include dust, smoke from burnt biomass, as well as smoke coming from unventilated wooden stoves, among others.
5. Check Your Family History
There’s a genetic component that could increase your risk of developing COPD, and some individuals with a specific family history develop the disease more severely and earlier in life. For example, the inherited disease Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency increase COPD risk even in non-smokers.
COPD is a serious and fatal condition. Smokers have 12 to 13 times more at risk of dying from COPD than non-smokers. Start with these healthy lifestyle habits if you have an increased risk of developing COPD or are starting to feel some symptoms. Consult your doctor about maintaining your lung health.