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Breathe easier

27 November 2018 / by / no comments

Philips recently launched a global patient education effort for World COPD Day.

 

Royal Philips recently launch of a global initiative to celebrate everyday wins by patients, providers and caretakers regarding the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Launched on World COPD Day on November 21, this awareness and celebratory campaign aims to help inspire COPD patients and their caregivers around ways to improve their overall quality of life.

COPD causes difficulties with breathing and increased breathlessness. One of the main causes is prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, especially if the smoke is inhaled. However, breathing in second-hand smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes and dust from the environment or workplace can also cause COPD.

There are four stages to COPD including mild, moderate, severe and very severe. Many people in the earliest stages of COPD don’t realise they may have a more serious condition. While they may find their breathing limited, many people don’t always seek medical attention until it worsens. Moderate COPD can result in more coughing and production of mucus, at which point your doctor may prescribe medication or pulmonary rehabilitation.

In later stages of COPD, breathing becomes more difficult, and with more fatigue, it can make your normal daily activities more challenging. Exercise may become increasingly difficult. If your breathing issues and flare-ups are impacting your health and quality of life significantly, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy to ensure your body is getting enough oxygen.

It is a progressive, life-threatening disease that is estimated to affect more than 251 million people globally and is estimated to be the third leading cause of death by 2020. In Asia-Pacific, an estimated 56.6 million patients are afflicted with moderate to severe COPD, with more than 60,000 Singaporeans suffering from COPD. In 2017, it was the 10th leading cause of death in Singapore. Despite the number of people impacted by this disease, there is limited awareness and a stigma associated with the disease, and once patients receive the diagnosis, they often don’t know how to overcome the shock of the disease.

“COPD often presents challenges for patients to partake in daily activities,” said DrTeofilo Lee-Chiong, chief medical liaison at Philips. “While COPD is a chronic condition, it doesn’t need to be a debilitating disease. With new advancements like connected care technology, patients have the opportunity to maintain their quality of life by receiving treatment at home through remote monitoring capabilities, as well as having access to their physicians for any questions around their illness or therapy pathway. These solutions also provide patients with a stronger support network, allowing the local care team to keep patients motivated and assist with their day-to-day activities. Through a positive outlook, an active lifestyle and adherence to therapy, patients with COPD can take back control of their lives.” Philips offers a variety of COPD and respiratory disease management solutions that provide treatment from hospital to home, while empowering patients to live an active lifestyle.

For COPD patients, Philips offers the following tips for living well and remaining active:

  • Stop smoking and exercise regularly – Exercise can help strengthen large muscle groups and improve airway circulation. Work towards enhancing strength, endurance and flexibility by breaking down tasks into smaller parts and schedule frequent rest periods.
  • Eat well and maintain a healthy weight – Sustain a healthy diet with proper nutrition and adequate sleep. A poor diet can make symptoms worse and affect the ability to exercise.
  • Practice breathing and relaxation techniques, and learn how to cough effectively.
  • Recognise and avoid the factors that trigger flare-ups, and have an action plan for flare-up.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • See your doctor regularly, even if you feel well, and especially if you have any concerns

Philips added: “Have a positive mindset – alter your outlook on the disease and understand the key to remaining active lies within the individual. Define your goals – ask yourself what you would like to be able to do. Set short- and long-term goals for yourself. Be patient – Understand that progress takes time. With exercise and a healthy diet, your strength and endurance can recover.”

 

(** PHOTO: Philips)

 


 

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