The British Lung Foundation (BLF) is organizing another edition of Breathe Easy Week, this year under the theme “breathlessness,” in order to raise awareness about the impact of the lungs in overall health and the potential health problems associated with them. Breathe Easy Week 2015 will take place between June 15th and 21st and will include medical professionals, patients, families and other advocates.
Every year, the BLF hosts the event, which is designed to highlight the major burden of lung diseases, which affects about one in every seven people in the United Kingdom, where the organization is based. During the week, BLF expects to increase public awareness about the importance of maintaining lung health, as well as increase knowledge on risk factors associated with major lung conditions, which include asthma, bronchitis, chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, among others.
BLF is inviting everyone to join the initiative as part of local campaigns, through a signature or by attending its talks, coffee mornings, quiz nights and other events. The Medical Specialists NHS Pharmacy is one of the groups that already pledged its support to Breathe Easy Week 2015 in a press release, and announced that both asthma and COPD patients could receive their blue reliever and brown preventer inhalers from the pharmacy, after an online consultation with one of their specialists.
Lung disease is an umbrella term that includes all conditions associated with the damage of the lungs and are basically divided into three types. The first of them are airway diseases, which are conditions that affect the tubes responsible for oxygen and gas transportation into the lungs, normally obstructing them and causing difficulties in breathing, such as asthma and COPD.
The second type involves scarring or inflammation of the tissue — these are the lung tissue diseases, which affect the structure of the tissue, creating problems in the proper delivery of oxygen to the lungs, as well as carbon dioxide emission. In addition, lung circulation diseases are ones characterized by clotting, scarring, or inflammation of the lung’s blood vessels, which decreases the ability of the lungs to receive oxygen and emit carbon dioxide.
In addition to raising awareness about lung disease and the importance of lung health, the BLF also aims to encourage people to quit smoking, one of the major steps toward improving lung health and reducing the probability of suffering damage in the airways and lung, and consequently developing lung diseases. COPD is particularly known to be caused almost exclusively by smoking, and the symptoms can be aggravated if the patient already suffers from other lung condition such as asthma.
Second-hand smoke is also a great concern, and often an underestimated problem, since it can cause the development of lung diseases due to the proximity to smokers. BLF has held a petition to require the illegality of smoking in cars with children present. In fact, last February, 342 MPs voted in favor of a new law on smoking, making it illegal in England to smoke in cars with underaged passengers, taking effect on October 1, 2015.