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FS: I think more and more people are increasing their awareness about COPD because it's in the news. There's more commercials about it. So they're hearing more about COPD because of things like this.
FS: I think they say that they know what it is. They've heard of it before. They might know somebody that's had it. But they don't really understand necessarily what's going on in their lungs, why maybe they're taking the medications that they're taking, if they're on any medications. So I think there's an awareness that the disease exists, but they don't really know much more than that.
FS: I'm a heavy smoker. And I get bronchitis and pneumonia very easy. So the last time I went to the doctor, they said they were going to have me tested for COPD.
FS: I knew my dad was diagnosed with it. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't even do nothing. Then he was bound to a wheelchair eventually.
MS: What I know about COPD is it can be a form of emphysema. My dad, he's 72. And he's got COPD now. And he's got the rest of his life to have the hose and have forced oxygen.
MS: From 30 years of smoking, if I can walk on a flat piece of ground, I'm fine. I have a Great Dane, and I like to take her for walks. But I can't do anything on a hill. Once I get on a hill, I get out of breath and I can't walk anymore.
FS: We put some information into a computer to come up with a predicted value based on age, gender, race, and height.
FS: What they do is they take a big, deep breath in, put this spirometer in their mouth, blast out hard, fast, and as long as they can.
FS: The results show their lung age. When they see that their lung age is a lot higher than their chronological age or their physical age, then, like I said, it's an eye-opener. MS: You just have to blow into a tube. It's really simple, tells a lot about how you can breathe. Just breathe, breathe all your lung out. If you have a lot of lung power, you'll get a good reading. If not... It was 52%, 54%. I generally am around 52% lung function.
FS: There was just this tube. And you got to take in a deep breath. And when you put it over your mouth you got to release the air really, really hard and just keep breathing for six seconds to get all the air out. She did say my lungs are the age of a 79-year-old. And that if I want to see my numbers stay that way or go back up, it's best I quit smoking now.
MS: It was relatively easy to take, and it was very informative. It wasn't intrusive to take, but the end results were what I wanted to find out, that my lungs were in good shape.
FS: Because COPD runs in my family, I thought it would be a good idea to get tested.
FS: Even if you don't have risk factors, it's a nice way to introduce people to lung awareness and do a simple breathing test.
FS: We've found a lot of people that are on medications anyway might have been told they had COPD but didn't really know what it was, or they've been smoking a long time and are concerned.
MS: I think it's great. It's a great awareness for people to see whether or not they're being affected by things that could cause them not to be able to breathe. There's a lot of things out there-- people smoking, chemicals, people's workplaces that can cause COPD.
FS: It's important to know early if you have something chronic like this, because I see how my dad gets out of breath a lot.
FS: Anytime you have an opportunity with a large group of people to introduce to them more information about COPD, about something that impacts so many people. And as you look around the fair, you see a lot of people that are smoking, so we have definitely an at risk population that needs to be more aware. Part of the frustration of being a respiratory therapist is treating these people at end-stage of their lung disease where they had no idea that they could have had a simple breathing test and determined that they had lung disease early on. So I think it's great, any opportunity to do this.