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.
Whether you have a friend or a loved one with COPD or you have COPD yourself, you can likely attest to the fact that this disease can cause significant problems with mobility. The top causes of mobility issues in COPD patients include poor pulmonary function, leg swelling (peripheral edema), and loss of muscle mass (muscle atrophy). Combined with the effects of aging and other chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, COPD patients can experience a lot of difficulties getting around in their day-to-day life.
The novel coronavirus has completely reshaped the way that we view sanitation. Over the past year, organizations and individuals alike have taken steps to control the spread of disease, and the population as a whole has become more aware of the impact of infectious disease. Another thing that people have become more aware of is the impact of chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis. Studies have shown us that these people are “high risk” when it comes to infectious disease, so we need to take steps to protect their health.
Oxygen is one of the elements that’s essential for human life. Earth’s atmosphere is composed of about 20% oxygen which is the perfect amount for someone with healthy lungs to breathe easily. However, the farther you go up in altitude, the thinner the air becomes meaning you have to inhale more air to get the same amount of oxygen. This is why many mountain climbers use special devices that allow them to get the oxygen they need.
November is COPD awareness month, a time to come together and educate people of all backgrounds about the global impact of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD awareness month is marked by an orange ribbon and can be observed in a number of different ways. Despite being the third leading cause of death in the United States, COPD suffers from a severe lack of awareness. According to a Health Union survey, only about 38 percent of patients were aware what COPD was or what its risk factors were before being diagnosed.
The beauty of the natural world is not something that is limited to a certain age group, and the inclusiveness of the outdoor community knows no limits. No matter where you spent most of your life, whether you are a home-body or a born nomad, there is no better time to get out into nature than in your senior years.
If you are skeptical about how you would enjoy a hiking adventure while managing the obstacles that come with older age, please continue reading.