What You Ought to Know About Combating Asthma and COPD

A recent event in London, the Asthma & COPD conference, has again raised awareness of the issues facing the medical industry and sufferers of these conditions, whilst outlining the positive progress being made in preventing and treating them. The event covered important topics, including comparing exacerbation of asthma with potential options for treatment, an examination of inhalation devices and combination therapies, combating resistance to steroids and establishing phenotyping to tailor therapeutic options to patients and enhance outcomes. Events like these are crucial for gathering professionals together to discuss developments and difficulties in the research of asthma and COPD, and how to formulate new strategies in order to gain the most positive and effective results from a range of therapies.


Asthma affects around 5.4 million people in the UK, which equates to 1 in every 11 adults, and 1 in every 11 children. The condition is more common in adult women than in adult men, and is a long-term condition which affects a person’s ability to breathe easily and normally. It is caused by inflammation in the airways of the lung, specifically the bronchi which transport air in and out of the lungs. People with asthma have bronchi which are more sensitive than normal people. When irritants come in to contact with the lungs coughing and tightness of the chest is common, but in asthmatics this occurs much more often and more intensely. When this reaction is severe, it is known as an asthma attack, which can sometimes be life threatening. Asthma can be hereditary, and triggers and severity of symptoms differ between individuals. Common triggers include animal fur, cold air or pollen. Asthma lacks a cure, but a range of treatments and therapies are available to help prevent and relieve symptoms. Medication, inhalers and lifestyle improvements, such as avoiding triggers, eating healthy and exercising, are often advised to help asthmatics live a more normal lifestyle.


COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a term used to describe a range of lung diseases. Like asthmatics, the weakness of COPD sufferers lungs may cause airway obstruction, leading to frequent chest infections, breathlessness, and a repetitive cough with phlegm. Its main cause has been identified as smoking, with long-term regular smokers being at the highest risk of developing COPD. It is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK, and it is believed that there are over 3 million people in the UK living with it. Unlike asthma, more men are affected by COPD than women. Like asthma, there is no cure and damage to the lungs from it is irreversible. Usually an inhaler or medication is given to improve ease of breathing, as well as tuition in breathing techniques. The single best thing to do to tackle COPD is to stop smoking and become more active, which can help improve overall wellbeing.

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