“Lung function tests

Lung function tests critical to prevent lung diseases”

Routine lung function tests are needed to detect early loss of lung function,  According to Prof Shane O’Neill, consultant respiratory physician at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, smokers should be encouraged to make lung function tests part of their yearly medical assessment.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) refers to a number of chronic lung disorders that obstruct the airways. The most common form being a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Even though some people may have a genetic predisposition for the condition, 95 per cent of COPD is due to
smoking.

According to the WHO, the country has the second highest COPD mortality rate of 28 industrialised nations, only trailing Hungary. The only real way to prevent this chronic disease is early detection. One of the aims of World COPD Day was to raise public awareness that a basic test for COPD, called spirometry, can assess lung function and help screen susceptible patients.

Individuals at risk for COPD such as smokers or ex-smokers suffering from a persistent cough are encouraged to take note of their symptoms and ask their doctor about COPD.
Early symptoms include:

Daily morning cough
Mild shortness of breath
Occasional coughing
Severe cough from respiratory infection (such as the common cold)
Wheezing – usually after a respiratory infection

 

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