This blog post was written by John W. Walsh, president and co-founder of the COPD Foundation.
We owe it to ourselves, to ensure our personal future, to make the right choice. The right choice, in terms of our lung health, is to take the Risk Screener.
In just two minutes, you can answer five, easy questions that may help change the course of your personal lung health and your future. And I’m not exaggerating.
There are millions of Americans who are living with COPD and don’t even know it. These are individuals who, everyday, experience shortness of breath, and wrongly attribute it to a sign of aging or a chronic cough they think is caused by a lagging cold.
In reality, these people are living with a disease that is not going to be remedied with cough syrup or any over-the-counter medication. In fact, their COPD will only get worse because they aren’t getting the right treatment for it.
And as a person diagnosed with COPD, I know this for a fact.
Most of you will agree with me when I say that a diagnosis is empowering. Although it can be difficult and scary, knowing that you have COPD helps steer us in the right direction to get the right treatments, therapies, and information needed to live a better life with COPD.
Knowing we have COPD gives us the chance to identify with others who are going through the same things. We do not have to be alone in our daily struggles. We can hop online to read blogs, chat with others on Facebook and Twitter, or the patient-run C.O.P.D. Information Line, and even meet other people in person at education day events.
And knowing we have COPD helps our doctors and therapists design treatments that work best for us, individually. All COPD is not exactly the same; some may have mild to severe forms, some may have Alpha-1 or bronchiectasis. That’s why it’s important for doctors to understand each own COPD for the benefit of our health.
Even though a diagnosis is only the beginning of a road of challenges, knowing that you have COPD is half the battle. Living without knowing is similar to throwing in the towel at the beginning of the race. You rob yourself of the possibility of a future with easier breathing, with improved health, and with a better quality of life.
There is absolutely no reason for approximately 12 million people to be without the right to a better quality of life. So I’d like to ask you to join us in November, COPD Awareness Month, for a 30-day campaign to find the “missing millions,.” By taking the COPD Risk Screener at www.copdfoundation.org/screener today.
Let’s give our loved ones, neighbors, coworkers, and friends the chance to identify what’s causing their shortness of breath, and the possibility for an improved quality of life. Will you join us?