A persistent cough that never quite goes away. Feeling out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs. That sense of having an elephant sitting on your chest. All common bronchial symptoms that millions of people across the country live with every day, but too often remain undiagnosed. The clinical name for it is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, for short.
Most know the acronym as having something to do with respiratory discomfort. But for the more than 15 million Americans who suffer from it, the disease takes on a much more specific and personal meaning, redefining their quality of life for the worse.
Yet, there’s hope. The U.S. COPD Coalition says early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference in supporting better patient outcomes. That is why the organization joins with others to raise awareness about COPD through National COPD Awareness Month every November.
A problem that “packs” a wallop
Not that smokers should require any additional incentives to quit, but it should come as no surprise that one of the leading culprits of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is tobacco usage. Other prime offenders include air contaminants in the home or at work, as well as hereditary factors and respiratory infections. In any case, many medications have been proven effective in arresting flare-ups in coughing and wheezing, while reducing and preventing reoccurrence over time.
Experts who treat lung infections advise that at-risk patients keep up-to-date with their flu and pneumonia vaccines. Particularly due to the fact that one problem tends to magnify the other. Should blood oxygen levels fall below reasonable levels, the use of a portable oxygen tank may also be directed by a doctor’s prescription.
An event 17 years in the making
Every year, in November, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) partners with healthcare professionals, physicians, and patient groups throughout the world on behalf of World COPD Day. With origins that date back to 2002, this remarkable event is celebrated in more than 50 countries around the globe, making it one of the most recognizable and influential education programs of its kind.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of work ahead.
In 2015 alone, COPD claimed the lives of more than three million people internationally, representing five percent of all recorded fatalities. On the domestic front, the CDC reports that COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Numbers like those will get your attention. And just like the more chronic symptoms that are hallmarks of the disease—impossible to ignore.
Benzer Pharmacy has got your back
Because of our accessibility in the community, our clinically trained pharmacists can often be your first line of defense against COPD, even if you’re just asking as a preventative measure. Many cases of COPD are treatable and receptive to over-the-counter (OTC) remedies and by prescription as needed. In large part, Benzer takes our motto of helping you “get better” seriously through education programs and community outreach efforts.
Providing easy instruction on how to properly use inhalers; for example, demonstrating the differences among metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) and dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) is one important way we help keep patients in adherence and out of the ER. In doing so, we ensure that customers attend to proper maintenance, storage, and re-order guidelines. All to make certain that they are never left empty-handed.
To us, there’s no substitute for managing COPD symptoms.
It just depends on where you decide to start.
To find a Benzer location near you, visit https://www.benzerpharmacy.com/find-a-store/