By Dickson Leung.
Seldom do we hear about (NCDs). We mostly hear about the such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. This is despite the fact that NCDs have been projected to overtake communicable diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.
Before we go any further, take a deep breath and exhale, slowly. We hope you enjoyed how easy and pleasing that was. Unfortunately, this is not the case for those with an NCD known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
that limits airflow and causes persistent respiratory symptoms. Individuals with COPD experience breathlessness, wheezing, coughs, and excessive sputum production. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported .
Treatment of COPD is multifaceted. It involves the use of inhaled medication, oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation. However, despite treatment, the airflow limitation in . This highlights the importance of turning our attention to prevention.
The risk of developing COPD is increased through various ways. These include: , and occupational exposures such as respirable dusts and fumes. Smoking tobacco products, including exposure to second-hand smoke, also plays a big role in increasing COPD risk.
For those who do not smoke, it is important to take steps to avoid unnecessary exposure to second-hand smoke. This is especially crucial for vulnerable members of the population, such as expectant mothers and children.
Further, it is worth noting that quitting smoking does not quite reverse the damage done to your lungs. However, it does make a difference in helping to slow down the loss of your lung function and . Therefore, it is never too late to stop smoking and stopping at any time will have a positive impact on your health.