It is Lung Health Awareness Month – do you know the symptoms of lung disease?
Lungs are amazing organs. They allow us to breathe in the air we need to live, made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen (which the lungs add to our red blood cells) and breathe out the waste product called carbon dioxide.
Thirty-one percent of Australians had chronic respiratory conditions in 2017-18, estimated as almost 7.4 million people. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was the fifth leading cause of death in 2017 (4.7% of all deaths), while 441 deaths were attributed to Asthma (0.3% of all deaths for 2017) in Australia.
Sadly, many people ignore the early signs of lung disease. Breathlessness is not a normal sign of ageing. Likewise, a persistent or changed cough should not be dismissed as the flu or cold. These seemingly mild symptoms could be a sign of lung disease, such as lung cancer or COPD. Early diagnosis is critical to improve outcomes and quality of life.
November is Lung Health Awareness Month which aims to raise awareness about the importance of lung health and how to recognise and act upon the symptoms of lung disease.
We’re all so used to thinking about our heart and skin health, but our lungs are equally important. It’s time we made our lung health a priority as well, because if you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.
Talk to your doctor about your lung health. For more information on lung disease, check out Lung Foundation Australia’s website: www.lungfoundation.com.au
If you have concerns about your lung health, make an appointment with your local bulk billing doctors at Cooloola Coast General Practice – two convenient locations: Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay, with a third practice under construction at Cooloola Cove near Woolworths. New patients welcome. Book online at cooloolacoastgp.com.au or call 07 5486 4600.