Event to raise COPD awareness

Members of the public will have a chance to test their breathing.

Members of the public will have a chance to test their breathing.

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Angus Respiratory Team and members of local COPD patient support groups are holding events in Forfar and Arbroath on World COPD Day next Wednesday, November 19, to raise awareness of the condition.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a common respiratory condition and although it is a major cause of illness, many people are unaware that they have it.

Angus Respiratory Specialist Nurses and members of the local COPD patient support groups will be at Whitehills Health & Community Care Centre in Forfar and in the Abbeygate Shopping Centre in Arbroath and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. next Wednesday.

People attending the event will have the chance to have their lung function screened by specialist nurses to see if they are at risk of having COPD.

They can also get up-to-date information and advice on the treatments and services available in Angus for people with respiratory conditions or chat to people who are living with COPD, some of whom run the local support groups.

The theme of this year’s awareness campaign is ‘It’s Not Too Late.’ This positive message has been chosen to emphasize the meaningful actions people can take to improve their respiratory health at any stage before or after a COPD diagnosis.

Maureen Fagan, Lead Respiratory Nurse in Angus, said: “There are over 2,000 people in Angus known to be living with COPD with many more who have the disease and don’t know it.

“COPD is the only major cause of death in Scotland that is on the increase, but yet is virtually unknown amongst the general public.

“We want to let people know what COPD is and to encourage people at risk or with early symptoms to get tested.

“COPD cannot be cured, but getting an early diagnosis and starting treatment means that people with COPD can enjoy a good quality of life for as long as possible.

“Anyone who is a smoker or ex-smoker over the age of 35 and has any of the following symptoms; breathlessness, chronic cough or bringing up phlegm should ask their doctor about spirometry, which is a simple and painless breathing test that can determine whether someone has COPD.”