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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD for short, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Millions of people have been diagnosed with COPD, and even more may have it and have not yet been diagnosed. It affects both men and women, and occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults.
COPD is a major cause of disability in its most severe stages, but it typically develops slowly over time. Symptoms, which include a chronic cough, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath with activity, may be mild at first, but worsen as airways become more and more damaged. Eventually, symptoms begin to interfere with the activities of daily living, such as walking, cooking and even personal care.
COPD is not contagious, but there is no cure. Lung damage cannot be reversed, even with treatment, but the progression of the disease can be slowed with the proper care and lifestyle changes. This will allow you to feel better and stay more active.
A few weeks back the New York Times ran a column in their health section called "The Claim: It's a Cold. No, It's an Allergy." Guess what? Symptoms of seasonal allergies and colds overlap. The column looks to new studies to tell the actual difference; however common sense tells us the difference with or without clinical trials.
How are they different?
According to the New York Times: " The first is the onset of symptoms. Colds move more slowly, taking a day or longer to set in and gradually worsening - with symptoms like loss of appetite and headache - before subsiding after about a week and disappearing within 10 days. But allergies begin immediately. The sneezing is sudden and overwhelming, and the congestion, typically centered behind the nose, is immediate. Allergy symptoms also disappear quickly - almost as soon as the offending allergen, like pollen, is no longer around.
Then there are hallmark symptoms of each. Allergies virtually always cause itchiness in the eyes, the n...
My family has celebrated a reunion for 35 years. This year, my role remained the same as it was in past years. However, this year was very different for me. In my previous post, I talked about how dementia affected how I handled my responsibilities. In this post, I'd like to talk about how it affected my interactions with family members. Most of my more distant relatives did not know of my dementia diagnosis since I was diagnosed within the last six months. After hugs and greetings, small talk began, which these days is usually about everyone's health. When I told my relatives that I had been diagnosed with dementia, I would sometimes get laughter, and he/she would say that he/she forgets things, too. Other times I would just be stared at blankly for a few seconds. In the former instance, I had to confirm that I really DO have dementia, that I was not being funny. With the latter, I had to allow time for the news to sink in. To both groups of people, it came as a shock. &...
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