Your lungs for life – beware of CPOD

dr. Ahmad Arfan, Sp.P., Ph.D.
dr. Ahmad Arfan, Sp.P., Ph.D. (Source: PRIMAYA HOSPITAL)

Jakarta, IO – According to the WHO, chronic obstructive lung disease (“CPOD”) is the third-highest cause of death in the world. In 2019, no fewer than 3.23 million people died with this condition. Nearly 90% of CPOD deaths occurred to people younger than 70. Lower- and medium-income countries, such as Indonesia, have a higher death rate. 

What is CPOD, really? 

It is a group of lung diseases that cause respiratory difficulty by obstructing air flow to the lungs, and they tend to last for quite a long time. 

dr. Ahmad Arfan, Sp.P., Ph.D., Persahabatan Hospital Jakarta’s lung specialist, reported in the “Lung Health for Life” live IG session on Tuesday (22/11/2022), that World COPD Day is commemorated every year on 17 November, to improve people’s awareness and participation in the prevention and cure of CPOD. The theme for the 2022 CPOD Day is “Your Lungs for Life”, which is meant to remind us that we only ever have this pair of lungs in our life, with no additions and replacements except in rare cases. They filter the air we breathe before passing it on to the rest of the body. Therefore, maintaining lung health is crucial. 

“According to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease estimate, CPOD is the sixth-highest cause of death worldwide. Unlike tuberculosis, CPOD is not caused by bacteria. It is generally caused by the inhalation of hazardous particles from cigarette smoke, waste burning, pollution, burned smoke repellant, factory smoke, etc. The source of complaints is in the respiratory tract – the nose, the sinuses, the throat, the vocal cords, all the way down to the lungs. CPOD can injure the lungs, and they cannot recover to an initial, healthy state. This will disrupt the workings of other organic systems in the body. Patients generally complain of prolonged coughs, difficulty of breathing that increase in severity by the day, squeaky breathing, and lost weight, due to a loss of appetite,” dr. Arfan said. 

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The prognosis of CPOD patients depend on their compliance with prescribed therapy and their avoidance of the disease’s primary causes. “Quitting tobacco is strongly correlated to improved survival of CPOD patients. CPOD is preventable. The best way to do it is by implementing the CERDIK scheme: Cek kesehatan secara berkala (check your health regularly) to clinics, community health centers, and hospitals to monitor your physical condition; Enyahkan asap rokok (get rid of cigarette smoke) to avoid possible complications in the future; Rajin aktivitas fisik (routine physical activity) by making exercise part of your daily routine, for at least 30 minutes a day; konsumsi Diet seimbang (consume a healthy diet); cukup Istirahat (get sufficient rest); and kelola stres (manage your stress),” dr. Arfan said. “As the health of our lungs ultimately also depends on the quality of the air we breathe, it is a no-brainer that we should use medical filter masks regularly. We mostly live in the city with bad air, after all.” (est)