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Helping those with COPD in Ireland to breathe easier

COPD is a collective name for lung conditions that make it hard for sufferers to breathe due to obstruction in the air passages of their lungs. It is estimated that there are over 440,000 people with COPD in Ireland, yet many people don't understand the disease and don't know that it can be managed, especially if caught early.

It affects men and women from 40 years onwards and is more prevalent, but not exclusive, in smokers and ex-smokers.


COPD is a progressive illness, meaning it has several stages of severity. It can often be several years before symptoms reach a level that will make the sufferer go to the GP. Symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are often attributed to getting older.

People with severe COPD may need their homes adapted, a carer to help with everyday tasks and portable oxygen.

COPD Support Ireland is the country's first national support and advocacy body to focus on awareness of COPD, to improve early diagnosis and to provide information and guidance to support groups, individuals and carers.

Last year we successfully ran a mobile screening programme for World COPD Day in November when we screened over 400 people in five counties using spirometry. A national forum for COPD sufferers and their families has been established and new local groups have emerged.

The Flora Women's Mini Marathon is such an iconic event and so well known that it helps to highlight COPD through the participation of runners or walkers. It is a great way for family members to support COPD by raising funds for important work and the provision of supports to people who suffer from this condition.

Donations go towards a range of supports and services including the establishment of a helpline and creating safe spaces at a local and community level for people with COPD to meet, share and support one another.

They will also go towards information leaflets on a range of topics for people with COPD, carers and families, GPs and healthcare professionals.

A donation of €10 will provide one person with three classes in an exercise programme for people with a chronic lung disease, while €25 will support up to 15 people with COPD to meet at a local level.

For more info go to www.copd.ie