5,458 of the 10,916 people with COPD in Kilkenny remain undiagnosed - FREE COPD Adviceline
COPD Support Ireland is calling on the 10,916 people in Kilkenny living with undiagnosed COPD to see a doctor and get an official diagnosis.
The FREE COPD and Asthma Adviceline can play a key role in helping a person who has recently had a COPD or asthma diagnosis – people phone 1800 832 146 to speak to a respiratory nurse about a number of topics on managing and improving their condition.
Professor JJ Gilmartin, Chairperson of COPD Support Ireland, said: “500,000 people In Ireland have COPD and estimates suggest that 50% of these people are undiagnosed. If you find yourself experiencing COPD symptoms like shortness of breath, persistent coughing, coughing up mucus/phlegm and wheezing, you should see a doctor who can help you investigate if you may have COPD - especially if you are over 40 years old. Being diagnosed with COPD will allow you to get in control of your condition and avail of all our COPD services which includes the COPD and Asthma Adviceline.”
Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said “It is so important that people with COPD and asthma properly control their conditions and the joint COPD and Asthma Adviceline is the perfect way for them to do so. Pick up the phone to the Adviceline on 1800 832 146 - it’s a great first step in taking charge of your COPD and/or asthma and moving toward a better quality of life.
The Adviceline’s respiratory nurse specialists work through every aspect of life with callers who have asthma and/or COPD. They can help with what to do in the event of COPD emergency, the signs and symptoms of COPD, answer questions after a GP or consultant appointment, deal with triggers that may cause a serious escalation, help you put a COPD self-management plan in place, including smoking cessation and exercise plans. After speaking to one of our nurses, you’ll be fully equipped with the information and skills you need to improve your health and to stay as well as possible.”
Nicky Coules, COPD patient ambassador, said: “I don't know long I had COPD before it was diagnosed. I got chest infections regularly but I probably would just get a cough bottle at the chemist and got on with things. When I was younger, I suppose my immunity system would deal with it. As for a shortness of breath, some people I worked with may have mentioned it, but I just got on with things. I had to earn a living. But one day in work it just got so bad that I couldn't go on. I could barely breathe. I put away my tools and a chippy I was working with had to carry them to my car for me. I think it must have been at that point that the doctor put a name on it - COPD. That was the turning point. From there on, the hospital sorted the infection, prescribed inhalers and, in time, I did a pulmonary rehabilitation course. I've never looked back. I still have COPD but I have a good life and I try not to let COPD decide things for me.
I would encourage anybody who suspects they might have COPD to get diagnosed and start treatment. This illness is progressive and the sooner you start looking after yourself the more you can slow it down – Adviceline can help with that. Then get fit and stay fit.”
The COPD Adviceline is available at 1800 83 21 46. The Asthma Adviceline is available on 1800 44 54 64.
The Adviceline is proven to have a truly positive impact on people with asthma, with appointments tailored to the needs of each caller. The Adviceline respiratory specialist nurses work through every aspect of life with asthma/COPD: answering questions after a GP or consultant appointment, dealing with triggers that may be bringing on asthma/COPD symptoms, and helping users put together an Asthma Action Plan/ COPD Self Management Plan to self-manage their condition. After speaking to one of the adviceline nurses, users will be fully equipped with the information and skills they need to improve their health and stay as well as possible
Callers can book a free call back appointment by calling the free phone number between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday. The Asthma Society facilitates a call back from the nurse at a time that suits the patient.
In 2016, the Asthma/COPD Adviceline was awarded an independent quality mark by the Helplines Partnership, one of only three helplines in Ireland to have achieved this standard.