Cumbrians with lung conditions reminded how to stay healthy as winter weather hits county

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Cumbrians with lung conditions reminded how to stay healthy as winter weather hits county

Posted on Monday 2nd December 2013
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Cumbrians with lung conditions reminded how to stay healthy as winter weather hits county

As the weather forecasters warn of severe cold weather ahead, the leading commissioner for health care in Cumbria, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are advising people with the lung conditions - collectively known as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) how they can help themselves stay healthy this winter.

As part of NHS Cumbria CCG's winter advice campaign, additional information for COPD paitents has been added to the one-stop online winter health website www.choosewellcumbria.co.uk.

Winter weather can cause an increase in illness and symptoms for people with respiratory problems.

Taking simple action now to manage their condition over winter could help patients avoid them getting ill and a possible stay in hospital if their condition is severe.

There are approximately 11,000 people across Cumbria diagnosed with COPD and many more who may not have received a diagnosis.

COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic asthma. Breathlessness, a cough and excess phlegm are just some of the symptoms of lung conditions which can get worse in winter and leave people vulnerable to serious chest infections, complications from flu such as pneumonia and potential hospital admission.

NHS Cumbria CCG’s GP Lead for Long term Conditions, Dr Robert Westgate said: “The winter months bring increased health risks for people with COPD and chronic lung disease. There are a number of actions, however, which people can take to try and reduce these risks during the season."

Tips for COPD patients include:

- Medicine - people are advised to make sure they have enough prescription medication should their symptoms get worse

- Keep the house warm - It’s recommended that the main rooms in a house are kept at 21°C and 18°C for a bedroom. Cold rooms can make breathing more difficult.

- Have a flu jab - People with COPD are at risk if the develop flu of getting seriously ill and therefore qualify for a free flu jab. People with COPD should contact their GP surgery to arrange to have their vaccination.

- Keep important medication close -Anyone with COPD who has to take a reliever should take it 20 minutes before going outside.

-  Stop smoking - Smoking is harmful to everyone's health. People with COPD are especially vulnerable and should stop smoking as this is the most important thing they can do to help their breathing. For help with quitting, contact your GP, a local pharmacy or Cumbria Stop Smoking Service on 01900 324222 for free confidential help and advice.

-  Eat well - A healthy diet helps improve the immune system so it can fight infection.

- Keep active/do gentle exercises - Exercise improves the function of the heart and lungs. Pulmonary rehabilitation classes can help people with COPD learn simple exercises to improve their breathing.

For more information on managing COPD conditions visit the Self Care section of www.choosewellcumbria.co.uk| .

Posted on Monday 2nd December 2013

 

 
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