Mental illness is a growing problem in the United States. According to Mental Health America (MHA), 1.5 million more Americans experienced mental health issues in 2017 than the previous year. What’s more, surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate a sharp increase in self-reported behavioral health symptoms since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are many possible factors that are contributing to these issues, one of the lesser discussed factors is social isolation.
Oxygen is the most essential property of life, yet many people don't even have the ability to utilize oxygen properly due to chronic conditions such as Chronic Pulmonary Respiratory Disease (COPD). COPD is an illness that obstructs your airways either due to excess mucus clogging your airways, or your airways becoming swollen, or a mixture of both of these conditions.
With around 65 million patients worldwide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is anything but uncommon. In fact, it’s one of the most prevalent lung conditions in the world behind asthma. However, despite these statistics, COPD is labeled an “invisible illness.” Many people suffer with this condition in silence, and society as a whole tends to stigmatize it by misunderstanding what its causes are and what life is like with this condition.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the diseases with the greatest financial burdens worldwide and within the United States. Studies have shown that the average annual COPD-related expenditure is around $4,147. And while 51% of these costs are covered by Medicare according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that still leaves roughly $2,000 a year that COPD patients need to spend out-of-pocket. Combine this with the cost of aging and limited retirement funds and it’s not hard to see why COPD is such a major financial burden for so many people.