- Are you aged 35 or over?
- Are you a current smoker?
- Have you not been diagnosed with asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) already?
- Have you not had a lung health check in the last 5 years?
- If you answered YES to all four questions then you are eligible for a FREE lung health check at your local GP surgery or at one of our community events if you live within Redcar and Cleveland!
Why have a Lung Health Check?
- It is a free and painless test which is very easy to do.
- It only takes about 30 minutes and all you have to do is to blow into a mouthpiece a few times.
- It can help to diagnose COPD in the early stages so that it can be well managed through treatment and lifestyle changes.
- You could have symptoms such as a cough, but you could have no symptoms at all, so go for your lung health check to make sure everything is fine.
What happens during the test?
- When you arrive you will be asked some questions and your height and weight will be measured.
- A breathing test called ‘spirometry’ will be used to measure how well you can breathe in and out. You will be asked to blow through a mouthpiece (you will be given your own disposable mouthpiece) several times.
- You will be guided through the test and you won’t be rushed.
Before you come for the test there are some ways you can prepare:
- Avoid vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.
- Avoid alcohol for at least four hours before the test.
- Try not to use your inhaler, if you have one, for four hours before the test. If you are struggling and are worried, please let the nurse know when you get to your appointment or ring the surgery for advice.
- Try not to smoke for four hours prior to the test.
- Avoid having a heavy meal for two hours before the test.
What is COPD?
- It is a broad term that is used to describe lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- It leads to damaged airways in the lungs, causing them to become narrower and making it harder to get air in and out of the lungs.
- It is ‘chronic’ meaning that it is a long-term problem.
What are the early signs of COPD?
- Trouble breathing
- A cough that has lasted for more than three weeks
- Lots of phlegm
What causes COPD?
- The most common cause is smoking.
- Once you give up smoking you will gradually reduce your chances of developing COPD or slow down its progress if you have it already. For information on your local stop smoking service please call 01642 383819 or click here.
- Occupational factors such as coal dust and some inherited problems can also cause COPD.