Michael McGloin COPD Support

 Benbulben COPD Support Group

“Alone we can do so little : Together we can make a difference.”

Registered Charity Number CHY 19979

“Smokers” By the time you have your first symptom your lungs are already damaged 

Benbulben C.O.P.D. Support Group.
We want to thank Stacy & Marsha from Eir social club, who Donated €705, the proceeds of a table quiz.
Thank you so much really appreciated.

Share how you feel.
Talking to someone you trust about your anxiety can help. You could try talking to someone close to you – a friend or family member.
We know not everyone will feel comfortable talking to family and friends about their anxiety. In fact, lots of people find it easier to talk to people who don’t know them about how they’re feeling.
You could:
Talk to someone with a similar lung condition at one of our support groups, exercise groups, singing groups, or on a pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) course
Join our online forum, to chat with other people with lung conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Talk to your GP, practice nurse, or respiratory nurse.
Did you know stress can have a negative impact on the symptoms of your lung condition?
This can feel scary, but we’ve got lots of resources that can help you find ways to look after your mental health.
Here are just a few ways you can stay well with your lung condition:
Try out different breathing techniques – this can help improve your breathing and help you feel better
Keep active – physical activity is good for our bodies and minds!
Eat a healthy diet – this can do a lot to improve your mood and your sense of wellbeing

C.O.P.D. is a debilitating lung disease that is progressive and is irreversible and is linked to smoking in most cases and affects over 110,000 Irish people. C.O.P.D. is the second largest cause of respiratory deaths in Ireland. C.O.P.D. obstructs the airways, making breathing difficult.

Patients with C.O.P.D. including those with Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema are estimated to account for almost a quarter of deaths in Ireland. In Ireland, about 7,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases. This is 10 times more than the number killed each year in road incidents.
C.O.P.D.—Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all who made donations to our support group. very much appreciated now as fundraising is not possible due to Covid-19

What is C.O.P.D and how does it affect you

About a quarter of all regular smokers are killed prematurely by their smoking. Those killed loose an average of 10-15 years of potential life. Smoking is a major cause of 90% of lung cancer deaths, 25% of deaths from heart disease, and about 75% of deaths from C.O.P.D. Bronchitis and Emphysema. There are different stages of C.O.P.D. these being mild, moderate, and severe.

Bronchitis and emphysema can occur separately but often develop together.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Moving-picture-breathing-parr-of-lungs-animated-gif.gif

In Chronic bronchitis, the airways are narrowed by swelling and become infected with bacteria. The infection causes yellow or green sputum that blocks the narrow airways and makes breathing difficult.

In Emphysema, the tiny air sacs in the lungs become damaged. The walls of the air sacs (alveoli) stretch, rupture, and loose elasticity which cause a decrease in the ability of the lungs to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen and can lead to the patient collapsing.

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is a condition that is passed from parents to their children through their genes.   This condition may result in serious lung and/or liver disease at various ages in life.   For each trait a person inherits, there are usually two genes and one gene comes from each parent. People with Alpha-1 have received two defective alpha-1 antitrypsin genes. One defective gene came from their mother and one from their father. There are many types of defective alpha-1 antitrypsin genes. The most common abnormal genes are called S and Z. Normal genes are called M. A person who does not have Alpha-1 will have two M genes (MM). People identified with Alpha-1 most commonly have two Z genes (ZZ). Current evidence suggests there are up to 100,000 people with Alpha-1 (ZZ) in the United States. Another deficient gene combination is SZ, although people with this gene combination are less likely to get lung or liver problems than those with two Z genes.

Alpha-1 occurs when there is a lack of a protein in the blood called alpha-1 antitrypsin or AAT that is produced by the liver. The main function of AAT is to protect the lungs from inflammation caused by infection and inhaled irritants such as tobacco smoke. The low level of AAT in the blood occurs because the AAT is abnormal and cannot be released from the liver at the normal rate. This leads to a build-up of abnormal AAT in the liver that can cause liver disease and a decrease of AAT in the blood that can lead to lung disease.

Bronchiectasis is an abnormal stretching and enlarging of the respiratory passages caused by mucus blockage. When the body is unable to get rid of mucus, mucus becomes stuck and accumulates in the airways. The blockage and accompanying infection cause inflammation, leading to the weakening and widening of the passages. The weakened passages can become scarred and deformed, allowing more mucus and bacteria to accumulate, resulting in a cycle of infection and blocked airways.

Bronchiectasis patients are often given antibiotics for infection and bronchodilator medicines to open passages. There are also physical therapy techniques to help clear mucus. Lung transplants are also an option for severe cases. Fatalities are uncommon but may result from massive hemorrhage.

If lung infections are treated immediately, bronchiectasis is less likely to develop. Bronchiectasis patients should avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants and refrain from using sedatives. Vaccinations against measles, influenza, and other infections could also be a good preventative measure.

Lung Fibrosis, also known as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, results in the scarring of the lung tissue. This disease is caused by the reaction of the body to foreign elements. The Alveoli (air sacs) become inflamed and develop scars on the lung tissue in an attempt to repair itself.

Alveoli help the lungs breathe and release carbon dioxide. When the air sacs are scarred, the lung tissue is gradually replaced by fibrous tissue, which prevents the alveoli sacs from inhaling oxygen. The lung tissues harden causing shortness of breath, chronic dry cough, and discomfort in the chest. Inflammation of the lung tissue is the first sign of this disease.

This scarring of the lung tissue results in the permanent loss of transporting oxygen to the body. The more scarring of the tissue occurs, the less likely the patient will be able to breathe properly. The formation of scar tissue diminishes the ability of the alveolar sacs to function properly.

COPD causes strain on and enlargement of your heart, R/H Heart Failure, increased Blood Pressure in your Lungs (Pulmonary Hypertension).

Secondhand smoke (the smoke that drifts off the end of a burning cigarette)

Passive smoke (the smoke exhaled by someone who is smoking)

What causes C.O.P.D.?

The most important risk factor for C.O.P.D. is cigarette smoking. Passive exposure to cigarette smoke also contributes to respiratory symptoms and C.O.P.D. Other documented causes of C.O.P.D. include occupational dust and chemicals (vapors, irritants, and fumes), and indoor air pollution.

C.O.P.D. Symptoms

Symptoms such as cough, mucus production, and shortness of breath when walking even a short distance or climbing stairs.

How is C.O.P.D. diagnosed

A diagnosis of C.O.P.D. should be considered if a person has symptoms of cough, mucus production, and shortness of breath on exertion. However, the diagnosis should be confirmed by Lung Function Tests, which are used for diagnosis, assessment of severity, and following the course of the disease. This is best done by spirometry which is performed in your local hospital.

Why is C.O.P.D. under-diagnosed

Most people with symptoms of not visit a doctor and are not diagnosed with C.O.P.D. until the disease has progressed to the point that disability is advanced.

Educating patients and physicians to recognize symptoms of C.O.P.D. and initiating treatment early in the course of the disease are essential public health care aspects of this disease.


“Some GPs and/or their practice nurses carry out spirometry in their own surgeries, others refer patients to their local hospitals for this test. In some areas, the local hospitals do not have funding to provide direct access to general practitioners for spirometry, and GPs sometimes have no option but to refer such patients to a University hospital.”


An effective treatment program includes four components of care:

(1) Assess and monitor disease

(2) Reduce risk factors

(3) Manage stable C.O.P.D. by both medication and non-medication interventions and

(4) Manage acute exacerbations – In the short-term worsening of C.O.P.D. symptoms that require medical attention at home or in the hospital. Smoking cessation is the single most effective – and slows its progression. Stable C.O.P.D. management includes the use of bronchodilators for symptoms and influenza vaccines.

Life after C.O.P.D/ /Rehab Unit

An 8-week Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is required. First of all, you’re accessed and then you receive a one to one on exercise, advice, and tips on how to save the energy necessary for breathing. The Dietitian gives advice for a healthy diet. The OT explains relaxation and energy conservation. The pharmacist will explain your drugs and why you’re on them. You also view videos of people coping with C.O.P.D. Also, Aerobics, Relaxation, and oxygen therapy are explained. At the end of 8 weeks, you will be accessed again.

Pulmonary rehabilitation requires an element of commitment from you too. It does work, but you have your part to play.

Each November on World Awareness Day, A major public awareness campaign on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (C.O.P.D.) is held in most Hospitals.

If you have a debilitating chronic disease like C.O.P.D., it’s only logical for you to be fearful, depressed, frustrated, angry, and to suffer a deep loss of self-esteem. It’s even understandable to feel you have the right to some self-pity. But you also have the right to redirect those energies toward managing your disease and I’d like to help if I can.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common lung disease that makes breathing difficult. It can be known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. 
If COPD develops, it can be treated but not cured.
However, with early detection and treatment, the long-term outlook for patients is greatly improved.
A person with COPD may have inflammation and narrowing of their airways (bronchitis).
They may have the destruction of the lung’s tiny air sacs, with holes scattered throughout their lungs (emphysema).
Most likely, they have a combination of both.
It can be easy to fall into bad habits when you’re feeling down or unmotivated, but you mustn’t let this stop you.
Keep motivated by setting goals, finding an exercise buddy, and rewarding yourself for sticking with it.
Reward yourself every time you reach a goal, for example, getting up at 6 am every day to do the treadmill.
If you start exercising and feel exhausted or out of breath, it is important to rest until you feel better.
Never ignore the warning signs your body gives you because this can lead to severe problems.

Benbulben COPD Support Group

We meet on the last Wednesday of every month

4 pm to 6 pm

in Sligo Southern Hotel

Nurse specialist   will be there to answer questions

also special guest speakers…….

All members requested to attend, please

Come along for a cup of tea & a chat

Meet others with COPD  and their families

Special thank you to Management and staff of

Sligo Southern Hotel for sponsorship of a room and refreshments to hold our meetings and Rehab exercise classes during the year

The meeting will be open to anyone who has COPD and will be informal.

This will be an ideal opportunity for people with COPD and their families to discuss ways of making people more aware of COPD and how to cope with this debilitating disease.

Our Rehab Exercise Classes take place every Monday from 12 to 1 pm in the hotel ballroom

More information contact

Michael 071 9143172 …  0872448653

They Buried the Gift of Life today

World COPD Day

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This Site is dedicated to the memory of Oonagh McEvoy my Transplant Co-Ordinator who passed away 11th April 2011

 Registered Charity Number CHY 19979


“Alone we can do so little : Together we can make a difference.”

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Lapel Pins created by Lori Palermo

© Oct.2006 Michael McGloin

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