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World COPD Day 2021: Know about COPD, its Causes, Symptoms, Preventive Measures, and Key Facts

World COPD Day 2021: This year, it is observed on November 17. The full form of COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Check here for COPD, its causes, symptoms, preventive measures, etc.
Shikha Goyal
World COPD Day

World COPD Day 2021: According to the WHO, COPD is the third leading cause of death across the world, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. In low-and middle-income countries, over 80% of death occurred.

Some of the significant risk factors for COPD are environmental exposure to tobacco smoke, indoor air pollution, and occupational dust, fumes, and chemicals. COPD also causes persistent and progressive respiratory symptoms, like difficulty in breathing, coughing, or phlegm production.

World COPD Day is celebrated in collaboration with health experts and patients with COPD. This day raises awareness about COPD disease and helps you to understand the condition of the patient suffering from COPD and ways to improve health.

World COPD Day 2021: Theme

World COPD Day 2021 theme is "Healthy Lungs – Never More Important”. 

World COPD Day 2019 theme was "All Together to End COPD". The theme focuses to come together to fight the disease, to improve the health standard for patients with COPD, and to educate people via seminars, programs to detect, prevent and control the disease.

In 2018 the theme was "Never too early, Never too late".

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) works for health care professionals and public health officials to raise awareness and to educate people about Chronic Obstructive Disease, its prevention, and treatment.

World COPD Day 2021: Current Theme, History, Significance, and Key Facts

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

COPD is a lung disease in which a person is not able to breathe properly. It causes limitations in lung airflow. In advanced cases, it is a life-threatening disease. In this disease, the airways become narrowed due to which it becomes difficult to breathe.

Basically, there are two main forms of COPD:

- Chronic bronchitis is a long-term cough with mucus.

- Emphysema damages the lungs over time.

Most of the people suffering from COPD have both the conditions mentioned above.

Note: Now, chronic bronchitis and emphysema are no longer used differently but are included with the COPD diagnosis.

Causes of COPD

- Smoking is the main cause. But it is also seen that some persons smoke for years and never get COPD.

- Non-smokers can also suffer from COPD but it is rare. It is caused to those who lack alpha-1 antitrypsin protein and can develop into emphysema.

- People suffering from asthma and smoke are at higher risk of COPD.

- In the workplace, exposure to certain gases or fumes.

- Exposure to pollution whether indoor or outdoor.

- Without proper ventilation, frequent use of cooking fire.

COPD develops gradually over the years in a person. So, most symptoms may appear at the age of 35 to 40.

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Symptoms of COPD

The common symptoms of COPD are as follows:

- Chronic and progressive dyspnea that is breathlessness.

- Cough                    

- Production of Sputum

- Wheezing or Chest tightness.

- Fatigue

- Weight loss

- Depression

- Anxiety etc.

Preventive measures of COPD

- Avoid active and passive smoking.

- Avoidance or reduction of indoor and outdoor pollution like air pollution, biomass fuel, chemical fumes, and dust.

- Early treatment and control of Asthma.

- Reduce exposure to dust and chemicals at the occupation place.

- Eat a healthy diet that helps in reducing the risk of respiratory infections.

- Avoid exposure to fumes, fireworks, crackers, etc. mainly if you are suffering from COPD.

- When outdoor air quality is poor, people suffering from COPD should stay at home.

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Some facts related to COPD

- Worldwide, it is estimated that 3.17 million deaths were due to COPD in 2015.

- In low-and middle-income countries, over 80% of death occurred.

- The primary cause of COPD is exposure to tobacco smoke whether active or passive.

- COPD is a non-curable disease but treatment may relieve symptoms, improve life quality and reduce the risk of death. In fact, several cases of COPD are preventive also.

Therefore, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used not only for a single disease but it describes chronic lung disease that causes breathlessness and limitations in air lung flow.

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