This world COPD day (21st November) GPs in Havering, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham are urging those living with the condition to get their free flu jab. If you have COPD, flu can trigger a serious flare-up.
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because your airways have been narrowed. Living with COPD makes it difficult for you to breathe, and you might find everyday tasks a real challenge. Winter also brings cold weather which can trigger COPD symptoms, so it is important to wrap up.
Smoking is the main cause of COPD. Smokers can often dismiss the early signs of COPD as a ‘smoker’s cough’ but if they continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can greatly impact on their quality of life. Stopping smoking will reduce the risk of this and other diseases.
Millions of people across the UK have COPD and don’t even know it. They’re struggling with their symptoms and a lower quality of life and their condition is progressing quickly because they’re not receiving treatment.
If you are having trouble breathing, after even mild exercise you can take the British Lung Foundation’s online breath test which can help you decide if it’s time to see their GP.
Dr Anil Mehta, GP and Chair of Redbridge CCG, said: “This winter it is important that anyone with a long term condition like COPD gets their free flu jab.
“Many of our residents have COPD and don’t even know it, so are struggling with breathlessness and lower quality of life unnecessarily. World COPD day a great way of raising awareness of the condition so people can get the help they need.”
For more about World COPD Day (21st November) see https://www.blf.org.uk/copdday