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World COPD Month – Knowing the Signs

Affecting over 1 million people in the UK alone, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can very often go untreated or undiagnosed.

At Trinity Homecare, we wish to raise awareness of the condition as it is something that affects many of our clients. Since we have carers who are specialists in this field, we want to ensure that you are fully informed, who is at risk and what the steps are in managing the illness.

Take a deep breath. Skillful trained private doctor using professional stethoscope for hearing how elderly man breathing and diagnosing him

For those of you who may not know, COPD is a long-term condition where someone’s lungs have difficulty in emptying the air out because the airways have become narrow. COPD often develops after years of damage. This can include being exposed to harmful substances such as cigarette smoke, fumes, and chemicals.

Most people who develop COPD are over the age of 35, smokers, who have had continuous chest problems from a young age. Those with a genetic condition called Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency are also more susceptible to the disease. It has been suggested that the condition can be hereditary and so it is important to check the signs.


So what are the signs/symptoms?

  • Shortness of breath when completing everyday activities. I.e. going for a walk or doing some basic housework
  • Having a prolonged cough or continuous bouts of chest infections
  • Wheezing in the winter months
  • Producing a large amount of phlegm
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen ankles

Some of these symptoms may appear on their own or all at once. But it is important you see your GP if you are experiencing any of the above to get the correct diagnosis.

Getting Diagnosed

In order to get a diagnosis, you will initially have a Spirometry test which can be done at your GP. It is very simple and involves you blowing into a machine that measures the amount of air you can breathe out. This will provide an indication of your lung’s capacity and will be able to determine any difficult you may be having.

If your doctor has any concerns, very often they will refer you for a Chest X-Ray and blood test which is important in ensuring the right diagnosis has been made.

This condition affects 1 in 50 people in the UK. If you or someone else you know may be experiencing these symptoms- we urge you to contact your GP.


Regular exercise and a healthy diet should ease some of the symptoms. If you are a smoker, it is important that you try to quit. The NHS and your local pharmacists will be able to support you with this

Unfortunately, there are no direct cures for COPD. It is a long-term condition that will need to be managed and monitored carefully. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with COPD, and are struggling to cope, we can also help with this.

At Trinity, we are more than a care provider. We are passionate about supporting your independence to live safely and confidently in your own home. Whether you are suffering from a chronic condition such as COPD or need general assistance with personal care – we are here to help.

We also provide daily personal care and home help visits. So whether you need us for an hour to assist with shopping, housework or other general duties, please get in touch.

All of our plans are completely flexible and are tailored to suit your needs.

Visiting care COPD

Visiting Care with Trinity



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Other links for support on COPD can be found below: