COPD should be takes seriously
It affects one in five U.S. adults over 45 and an estimated 24 million Americans, yet as many as half of victims remain undiagnosed. It is called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and it is the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD is a serious lung disease that over time makes it hard to breathe.
This November, National COPD Awareness Month, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Lung Association in West Virginia asks people to take the first step to fight this disease by learning more about COPD. All too often, signs of COPD are ignored. Symptoms such as frequent shortness of breath, chronic cough, wheezing and excessive phlegm come on slowly. These symptoms are often mistaken as normal signs of aging or being out of shape. If left untreated, people with COPD gradually lose their stamina and their ability to perform daily activities.
The good news is that with early diagnosis and treatment, people with COPD can improve and get back to the things they love doing.
If you are a current or former smoker, have had long-term exposure to things that can irritate the lungs, or have certain genetic conditions, you could be at risk for COPD. If you are experiencing symptoms, talk to your health-care provider and ask for a simple breathing test called spirometry. To find out more about COPD, visit COPD.nhlbi.nih.gov.
American Lung Association in West Virginia
Local hotel gouged people during storm
It was a delight to read that the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island allowed Hurricane Sandy homeless citizens to remain in their hotel rooms when the New York Marathon runners came calling.
This was in contrast to one of Charleston's large downtown hotels that stiffed locals who lost their electric power with the storm.
I have a good friend in his 80s suffering with Parkinson's disease, whose wife had to pay twice the normal room fee for just a normal room. They wouldn't even give the normal AARP discount. So much for "corporate citizenship" here in Charleston.
Charleston's mayor and council need to pass a "no gouging law," if there isn't one on the books -- and if there is one, the city needs to enforce it when we have these ever-increasing disasters.