Written by:
Maryanne MacLeod
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How often do you feel short of breath? Do you ever cough up “stuff” such as mucus or phlegm? Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes throughout your life?
The answers to these questions can help determine your risk of COPD. COPD is a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
It is also the No. 3 killer of Americans, behind heart disease and cancer.
If you or a loved one is affected, the Care Management and Respiratory Therapy departments at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, invite you to attend a free awareness event in Classroom 2 of the Beaumont Health Center, 4949 Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 16, in observation of World COPD Day.
“The more you learn about COPD, the greater your chances of preventing it or reducing symptoms,” said Vincent DeCiantis, a nurse practitioner at Beaumont, Royal Oak and event co-organizer. “The majority of cases are caused by smoking, but genetic risk factors and frequent lung infections may also play a role.”
Event participants can answer a questionnaire to determine if they are at risk for COPD and be referred to a pulmonologist for diagnostic screening. Additional COPD resources, including free spacers, will be available. A spacer is a plastic chamber which attaches to an inhaler, enabling users to take in optimum medication.
Representatives from Beaumont, Royal Oak’s, Pulmonary Rehabilitation team, an outpatient program designed to help participants strengthen their lungs and improve breath capacity, will be on hand to discuss the benefits of treatment and help attendees determine if they qualify.
Though tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., more than 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes.
Tobacco cessation specialists will be on hand to discuss educational opportunities available.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 15.7 million Americans have reportedly been diagnosed with COPD. Another 15 million are estimated to be unaware of their condition.
Beaumont’s Nov. 16 COPD awareness event is offered in partnership with the American Lung Association, the COPD Foundation and the National Heart and Lung Association.
To register for smoking cessation classes or view our COPD video, visit www.beaumont.org/copd-information

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