World COPD Day, what's it all about?
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The British Lung Foundation describe COPD as a number of conditions, which include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In the UK there are 1.5 million diagnosed sufferers of COPD, and it is estimated a further 1.5 million people who have the condition but are undiagnosed. In the Western World, it is estimated there are 50 million sufferers of this condition. It is now the 3rd biggest cause of premature death in the UK, behind cardio-vascular conditions, and cancer.
The main aim of World COPD Day is to raise awareness of the condition, and to encourage people who may not realise they have it to check their breath and seek a diagnosis if needed. The BLF Breath Test is an easy to use online health checker, designed for anyone who struggles for breath to check their health.
World COPD Day also promotes events across the globe for sufferers to find support and friendship so that they don’t need to face this sometimes isolating condition alone. Organisations such as the British Lung Foundation share inspiring stories about what it’s like to live with COPD.
What explanation is there for the rise in conditions such as COPD?
The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of 21% oxygen. Over time this percentage has been very slowly declining, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels. In major cities, this percentage can be even lower, due to the harmful effects of pollution. Recently the Guardian newspaper published an article titled, ‘‘Nearly 9,500 people die each year in London due to pollution – study.”
We are witnessing worrying increases in human illnesses due to the lower levels of oxygen at the cellular level of the body, called hypoxia. Oxygen is essential for cellular respiration in all mammals, including humans, and without it, we would die. The body uses the oxygen in the cellular mitochondria to help generate something called adenosine-triphosphate (ATP), which is the body’s “energy currency” and essential for our bodies to perform their day to day tasks and all normal physiological functions.
How is COPD treated?
Most COPD sufferers have inhalers to help them breathe, and then as the condition worsens, they are prescribed oxygen, either for their home, or to take around with them. This is all prescribed through the NHS, whether GP, or hospital specialist.
Are there alternative therapies that can help to manage the symptoms of COPD?
Yes, in addition to prescribed medicines, there are a range of activities which have been shown to help to manage the symptoms of COPD, including regular exercise such as walking. Alternative therapies such as massage can help to relax patients, in turn calming their breathing, and reducing the “fight for breath” that many COPD sufferers experience.
SoeMac, which is an alternative, non-invasive oxygen energy therapy for COPD sufferers, has been shown to provide some real benefits enjoyed by users, and although unproven in a clinical sense, the results are remarkable in their own right. Please visit our COPD page to see testimonials from some of our SoeMac users who have seen real benefits to their wellbeing since using our clever little device.