Blackburn man launches COPD support group

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Paul Riley Paul Riley

A BLACKBURN man who suffers from lung disease has urged smokers to join his support group.

Paul Riley, 65, is worried that many people in the borough could be living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] - but may have just dismissed their problems as ‘smokers cough’.

New figures show the condition claims about 25,000 lives every year – but the number of people living with the disease is even higher. There are thought to be around three million sufferers in the UK, but only 900,000 have been diagnosed.

Leaving the disease untreated means the sufferer will have constant breathing difficulties and a phlegmy cough.

Damage to the lungs is irreversible so there is no way to undo the effects of COPD, but there are ways to slow down its progression.

It is most common amongst smokers but can also be caused by inhaling dust, air pollution or genetic disorders.

Mr Riley, who was diagnosed with COPD and asthma in 2008, said: “I was started on medication and was okay for about 12 to 18 months but then started to get really bad chest infections. I was admitted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital three times and treated with pneumonia”.

Paul was found to have allergies which were aggravating his condition and added: “They gave me anti-histamines to combat the allergies which were affecting my lung condition and he gave me a regime of antibiotics for me to take daily.”

The Yates Fold resident was also prescribed rescue medications for when he experiences an exacerbation. By doing this he has managed to keep himself hospital free for two years.

He is now secretary of the Breathe Easy Group in Blackburn, which specialises in teaching those who are suffering from COPD how to better deal with and manage the condition. He urged smokers and others suffering from lung disease to join their monthly meetings and get help to manage the condition.

Dr Pervez Muzaffar, Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group’s lead for rehabilitation, said: “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disease which is not as transparent as it should be. Looking at the figures, many more sufferers could be treated if they only knew more about the condition and the steps which must be taken to treat it.”

For more information see: www.blf.org.uk/BreatheEasy/Detail/Blackburn-with-Darwen or call Carole Carlisle on 0151 224 7778.

Comments (4)

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6:21pm Fri 29 Mar 13

mavrick says...

How can we afford to treat more people with less resources? This is the big problem facing the NHS, the answer is to target more resources to the NHS but will the coalition do this?
How can we afford to treat more people with less resources? This is the big problem facing the NHS, the answer is to target more resources to the NHS but will the coalition do this? mavrick
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Fri 29 Mar 13

2 for 5p says...

Hey you Great twit , just stop smoking
Hey you Great twit , just stop smoking 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

6:33am Sat 30 Mar 13

netherlandsexpat says...

Here in the Netherlands and after a few problems with her asthma, my wife was diagnosed with COPD in 2004 aged 38. We both stopped smoking together, but for a few years she was always in and out of hospital with breathing difficulties and pneumonia. In 2007 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Luckily after successful surgery and chemotherapy she is still here. She has now 29% lung capacity.
My wifes problems came to be because she started smoking at 14. Her parents were heavy smokers, so during her childhood she was always breathing in other peoples smoke!
Groups like this are an excellent way to promote awareness of this disease. It's amazing but few people have actually heard of COPD, and it's effects can be terrible to live with. A doctor told me to try to only breath through a straw, and you will know what your wife's condition is like! Not great! The caption 'smoking kills' is too true, but it doesn't have to literally kill you to kill you!!
Here in the Netherlands and after a few problems with her asthma, my wife was diagnosed with COPD in 2004 aged 38. We both stopped smoking together, but for a few years she was always in and out of hospital with breathing difficulties and pneumonia. In 2007 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Luckily after successful surgery and chemotherapy she is still here. She has now 29% lung capacity. My wifes problems came to be because she started smoking at 14. Her parents were heavy smokers, so during her childhood she was always breathing in other peoples smoke! Groups like this are an excellent way to promote awareness of this disease. It's amazing but few people have actually heard of COPD, and it's effects can be terrible to live with. A doctor told me to try to only breath through a straw, and you will know what your wife's condition is like! Not great! The caption 'smoking kills' is too true, but it doesn't have to literally kill you to kill you!! netherlandsexpat
  • Score: 3

8:26am Sat 30 Mar 13

Chris P Bacon says...

It astounds me that people WANT to smoke! I can only conclude they don't like their legs (they are putting them at risk of amputation), their lungs, their money or their looks (they'll age at twice the speed of a non-smoker). And they get pleasure from this? It must be some pleasure to counteract all the manifold problems they've got in the post.
It astounds me that people WANT to smoke! I can only conclude they don't like their legs (they are putting them at risk of amputation), their lungs, their money or their looks (they'll age at twice the speed of a non-smoker). And they get pleasure from this? It must be some pleasure to counteract all the manifold problems they've got in the post. Chris P Bacon
  • Score: 4

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