Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh organizes awareness session on COPD

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Panipat: While lifestyle modification plays a pivotal role in the prevention and management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), there is a dire need to raise awareness about the disease and its effective management especially when the air quality in Delhi has turned hazardous. Pertaining to the same, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh organized an awareness session to educate the public related to the management of the disease.

Dr Inder Mohan Chugh, Senior Director – Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh also visits to various hospitals in Panipat for monthly OPD’s.

COPD is a common, preventable, and treatable chronic lung disease, but is also the second most common cause of Non-Communicable Disease -related mortality in the countryAir pollution has been posing stringent threat on the overall health of individuals with respiratory ailments especially chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) cases on the rise. It is that time of the year when Delhi NCR and its surrounding areas grapple with bad air and pollution which makes life difficult for most of us.

Even in light of COVID pandemic, COPD remains a leading cause of death and hence there is never a more important period to focus on the Lung health. With an aim to increase awareness among the general public about the chronic inflammatory lung condition, every year 17th November is observed as World COPD Day. This year with the theme ‘healthy lungs – never more important’ aims to emphasize on the fact that the burden of COPD has not subsided even during the COVID Era. 

With the advent of recent technical modalities like Non-invasive Ventilation (NIV) has revolutionized the management of COPD, providing better and enhanced quality of life of such patients.

“In NIV, rather than depending on the natural process of breathing, a mask like device that covers the nose assists in pumping the air into the breathing passage to ensure adequate oxygen supply. The onset of problems associated with COPD usually are symptomized from mid-life onwards where the sufferer feels shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing or breathlessness that may cause long stabbing cough with phlegm and episodes of frequent tiredness. Gone are those days when ventilators were used only in hospitals and now with the availability of such customized masks as per patient’s convenience, if this device is introduced early enough, the patient who is suffering from COPD not only has a better relief, but an improved quality of life.” Said Dr Inder Mohan Chugh, Senior Director – Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh

Even though the symptoms develop gradually over time they are usually a resultant from a host of risk factors including active smoking of cigarettes or bidis or even from passive smoking, exposure to environmental pollution like dust, fumes or any other toxic chemicals.

For those with pre-existing lung conditions high levels of exposure to pollutants can flare up the attack of asthma or COPD, while healthy looking people who work or exercise outdoors may experience the symptoms only when they are exposed to air pollution for a relatively longer duration.

The problem of air pollution has increased dramatically since the last decade which may have increased the prevlance even further. According to a study published in The Lancet Journal, there has been a staggering rise of almost 100% in the last decade pertaining to the COPD cases in India. The study also witnessed a gigantic 13% loss of life, deaths of around 10 lakh patients with COPD every year.

“The extent of lung damage caused by air pollution depends directly on various factors like the type of pollutants in the environment, the concentration of pollutants and how deep the particles get inside the airways. Since the pollutants suspended in the air becomes deeply lodged inside the lungs and cause irritation thereby damaging the respiratory tract, extensive exposure to bad air has a significant connection to trigger a COPD attack. Irrespective of age and gender barrier, every individual reacts differently to the damage caused due to the air pollution, with some being highly affected than others. Despite being an irreversible condition, the treatment regime looks to relieve the symptoms, improve the quality of life by further reducing the risk of further damage.” Added Dr Chugh

Management and prevention of COPD includes opting a good and effective lifestyle by avoiding visit to areas with poor air quality/ high air pollution, exposure to toxic fumes and chemicals as much as possible to manage the symptoms and exacerbations. While smokers are highly susceptible to poor lung functioning in the long run, are also at a very high risk of COPD, and thus quitting smoking is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of this disease.