Health educators, The Sound Doctor, are raising awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and providing tools to manage the condition ahead of November’s National COPD Month – which includes World COPD Awareness Day on November 21st, 2018.
COPD affects millions of people in the UK. It is a condition of the lungs, making it hard to push air out, due to a narrowing of the airways. COPD usually develops because of long term damage to lungs from breathing in a harmful substance. Usually this is cigarette smoke, but could be smoke from other sources, or air pollution.
COPD Awareness Month aims to increase public understanding of this condition, and is especially important since many people who have it don’t realise they’re living with the condition.
NICE, the National Institute for Care and Excellence guidelines, say it is estimated that 3 million people in the UK have COPD but only just over 1million are diagnosed.
More people get it as they age, and most people aren’t diagnosed until they are in their 50’s. It isn’t curable, but you can live well with COPD if you look after yourself properly.
As well as making people more aware of the condition, the organisation is keen to provide people who have COPD, and their families, with the tools they need to stay out of hospital and avoid exacerbations or flare ups where possible.
The Sound Doctor has a large library of films to give people a better understanding of this disease, whether they have just been diagnosed or have lived with the condition for many years.
Rosie Runciman, co-founder of The Sound Doctor, said: “Our mission is to empower people to manage their own health conditions. So we’re especially pleased to be raising awareness of COPD during the national awareness month. By providing patients with detailed, accessible and easily comprehendible online information, the overall management of their illness becomes more effective and efficient."
Professor Mike Morgan, Respiratory National Clinical Lead, and Vice President of the British Lung Foundation, says: "Like many of the best uses of technology, The Sound Doctor is both simple and effective. It gives patients easy access to practical information so they can better understand and manage their own health conditions."
Between three and five minutes long, the films are full of accessible, easily understandable information for those who are interested in learning how to maintain and improve their health and well-being. There is plenty of practical advice on how to recognise and reduce the risk of exacerbations, how to cope with breathlessness and use an inhaler effectively, plus how to get the most out of life generally.
As well as COPD, other film libraries created by The Sound Doctor include diabetes, heart failure, back pain, dementia and weight management surgery.