World COPD day 2020 was being observed under the theme “Living well with COPD” to create awareness and ways to reduce the burden.

Health experts on Wednesday urged physicians and media to join hands for increasing better awareness to prevent Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) as it is currently the third leading cause of death globally and smoking was the root cause of this disease, so it should be addressed.

Talking to a private news channel, a senior Pulmonologist Professor Dr Anjum Naveed mentioned that World COPD day 2020 was being observed under the theme “Living well with COPD” to create awareness and ways to reduce the burden.

This year’s theme to send a positive message to both patients and providers that although there is no cure for COPD, there are many ways to actively live well with the disease, he added.

He explained the tobacco smoking, pollution caused by smoke produced by vehicles and industries was contributing to high incidence of chest infections and diseases in the country.

“The rate of deaths caused by the COPD has increased 40 percent across the world during the last several years,” he said.

He said breathlessness, breathing difficulty, excessive mucus, chronic cough and fatigue were the major symptoms of the COPD, adding, the disease was preventable if it was diagnosed and treated early.

He said that the protection from environmental hazards and quitting smoking would help prevent COPD or stop its further complications.

He said that the COPD patients needed to take care of their diet, exercise and regular medicines to control its intensity.

He also stressed that there is need to spread awareness regarding chronic diseases like Covid-19 , asthma and COPD so that these diseases could be prevented before happening. “Asthma can happen in childhood, whereas COPD affects the adults after the age of 40,” he said.

Talking about the signs and symptoms of the COPD, he said shortness of breath, persistent cough, coughing up mucus, wheezing, fatigue/tiredness, weight loss, morning headaches are alarming signs of the disease.

It is more common in men as compared to women, he highlighted.

He suggested that quitting passive smoking is the best way to prevent the disease and indoor pollution, outdoor pollution, occupational dust, and chemicals can also cause for growing COPD incidence.

He said the health department, international organizations and environmental protection agencies should work closely and take emergency measures to fight lung diseases.

He added there are 300 million current cases of COPD in the world and exposure to tobacco smoke and other inhaled toxic particles and gases are the main risk factors for COPD, although recent research has identified that suboptimal lung growth before and after birth can also increase the risk of COPD later in life.

Originally published at Urdu Point