November is National COPD Awareness Month! According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a “progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe.” Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. COPD may be caused by smoking tobacco products; long-term exposure to lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dusts; and/or genetics. In the US, COPD includes two main conditions: Emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The majority of people with COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis; however, the severity of each condition can vary from person to person. COPD currently has no cure. If you have COPD, treatments and lifestyle changes can help slow the progress of the disease.
NHLBI has an outreach toolkit and additional resources that you can search through. The COPD Foundation shares information in its blog about various events going on throughout the month, along with information about their online community, COPD360Social, for people with COPD. If you would like more information, take a look at these current and completed NIDILRR-funded projects and browse through these articles in the NARIC Collection. Please contact our information specialists if you have further questions.
Please note: These resources are provided for information purposes only, and not for diagnosis or recommendations of treatment. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about your health status.