World C.O.P.D. Awareness Day - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

World C.O.P.D. Awareness Day

Zora Asberry 
News West 9

ODESSA - It's a disease that makes it hard for you to breathe, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD,  and Odessan's seem to suffer from it a lot more than others in the state. "State average right now is forty-three per a hundred thousand, Ector County's actually eighty-six per a hundred thousand so we're double the rate here in our area", said Renato Galindo, Pulmonary Patient educator at Medical Center Hospital. 

Doctor's believe that most cases of COPD are caused by smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.

COPD patient Bonnie Abercrombie said, "I smoked for about fifty years, and I did work in a place where there were lots of toxins,and heat, and things that are not good for COPD."

Symptoms of COPD can affect your everyday life and make it difficult to perform even the simplest daily activities.

"Well one of them is a chronic cough, cough you just can't shake. We're also talking about a severe shortness of breath, less endurance for daily activities, wheezing, chest tightness are all symptoms of COPD", said Renato Galindo. 

"I wasn't able to get out and do anything that I wanted to do for any length of time because I would get out of breath", said Bonnie Abercrombie

If you think you may have COPD, Medical Center Hospital is asking that you take the necessary steps to make sure you catch it early.

"If you feel these symptoms and you had a history of smoking, talk to your doctor. Ask about a pulmonary functioning test, get yourself screened. It's the only accurate way to really diagnose COPD", said Renato Galindo. 

Bonnie Abercrombie has this message to give to those individuals who smoke and are not ready to give it up,"Well if they don't quit, eventually they will get COPD. I would suggest they stop "

"There is absolutely no cure for COPD we can only manage the symptoms and improve quality of life."

 To find out more information on COPD and how to bring awareness to our community, visit the COPD Foundation  at www.copdfoundation.org.
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