With winter approaching we’re all bound to end up with a cough at some point – but if you’re a current smoker, ex-smoker or someone who has worked in smoky or polluted environments, it’s now easy to make sure that cough is a winter lurgy and nothing more.
As part of an ongoing research program 360 Health + Community is offering free lung screenings by a Respiratory Nurse Specialist at either their Health Centre on Chapman Road or by visiting your own workplace.
The screening is simple and quick and aims to identify people among the estimated 600,000 currently living with a lung disorder called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) who go undiagnosed and do not receive the treatment they need to help them nip serious lung disease in the bud.
360 Health + Community Respiratory Nurse Specialist, Leanne Ross, points to the fact COPD is the second leading cause of avoidable hospitalisation as an obvious reason for Geraldton residents to participate.
“Over 350,000 Australians end up in hospital each year because of lung disease and so many of them could be avoided with a simple process done nice and early.” Ms Ross said. “We all know that smoking and inhaling pollutants are so bad for us, but not many of us realise how much of a big problem it really is and, most importantly, how reversible so much of the damage they do is.”
The program will contribute to research about identifying and treating incidences of COPD.
“So many people dismiss a cough as just an annoyance or, if they’re a smoker, they get scared and ignore it, but we want people to realise the potential danger and just take a moment to make sure they’re okay. That way they’ll help themselves, while also contributing to important research into COPD.”
While everyone with a current or past history of smoking or working in polluted environments is encouraged to participate, those displaying the below symptoms are particularly encouraged to get involved:
- More shortage of breath than others when doing simple things like climbing stairs or having a shower
- A new, persistent or changed cough
- Chest tightness or wheezing
- Frequent chest infections
For more information or to book a screening for yourself or your workplace please contact Leanne Ross on 9960 6800.
360 Health + Community is WA’s fastest growing health services, delivering over 120,000 health and social services across the state every year. You can visit their website at www.360.org.au