Recently Alex Franco, an intern with BREATHELA, wrote of his experience working with the Better Breathers’ Club (BBC) and O24U programs, whose mission is to promote respiratory health and awareness throughout Los Angeles. Alex was surprised at how many people don’t know that they have COPD, even though they have symptoms. Says Alex, “Some attendees would say, ‘I just have chronic bronchitis, not COPD.’ Others noted that they did not even know whether or not they had the disease. I was surprised to learn that most people did not consider their respective respiratory problems to be attributed to COPD.”
He points out, rightly so, that organizations like the Better Breathers’ Club can educate targeted, high-risk populations before they’ve realized that they have, or might have, COPD, and bridge the gap between wondering about symptoms and realizing that a doctor visit may be needed. Such community outreach also can positively affect the respiratory health of the younger population, by educating youth early about respiratory health and screening them through spirometry and other tests to catch signs of the disease before it progresses.
We commend the work of those involved in the BBC and O24U programs in working to correct the level of under-diagnosis and under-treatment of COPD in the LA population. Click here to read the full article by Alex Franco on the BREATHELA website.