If you tuned into our blog earlier this month, you know that we discussed COPD as a “systemic disease.” In other words, it’s a disease that affects every part of the body, not just the lungs. This is an important distinction to make because it enables both patients and medical professionals to detect systemic manifestations earlier on and treat them more effectively. One of the systemic manifestations that we mentioned in this post is osteoporosis, a disease that affects the density of the bones.
One of the most common questions we hear COPD patients ask is, “how can I clear my airways when they get congested?” As a COPD patient, you’re likely to experience coughing fits that are brought on by the buildup of mucus and sputum in the airways and lungs. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you feel like you can’t clear them in order to catch a breath of fresh air. This is far more common than you might expect and it can be a frustrating and sometimes even scary experience.
Many people assume that the longer they live, the less capable they are of improving various aspects of their lives. For example, some people take for granted that you can’t learn a musical instrument as an adult. These people are often told throughout their lives by their parents or friends that if you want to learn something complex, you have to start when you’re younger. It’s also assumed that you’ll stop progressing very early on in your life.
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.