Veterans Enterprise

Find us on Facebook  Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our Newsletter Add our RSS

Font Size

Change Font Size

Articles

Home Articles / Online Magazine Articles Aid Programs Fighting for Air: Veterans Face Higher Risk for Developing Lung Diseases

FridayMay 26, 2017

Fighting for Air: Veterans Face Higher Risk for Developing Lung Diseases

COPD FoundationAmerica’s men and women who serve or have served in the military often face different health issues than their American civilians. During wartime, troops’ main health concerns are life-threatening injuries, or possible disability-related wounds from shrapnel, lost limbs, or head injuries. In addition, there are potential hazards from exposure to environmental factors such as contaminated water, chemical contact, and infections or sickness.

For example, during battle in Iraq and Afghanistan some soldiers and faced a barrage of respiratory exposure, including:

  • Smoke from burn pits
  • Sand dust
  • Aerosolized metals and chemicals from exploded IEDs
  • Outdoor aeroallergens such as date pollen
  • Indoor aeroallergens such as mold aspergillus

A major, and growing, health concern that returning soldiers and veterans should be aware of is COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - a lung disease characterized by chronic obstruction of airflow that interferes with normal breathing. The more familiar terms “chronic bronchitis” and “emphysema” are no longer used, but are now included within the COPD diagnosis. COPD is not simply a "smoker's cough" but a life-threatening lung disease.

It is now estimated that more than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD in the U.S., and yet this number does not include a growing number of undiagnosed individuals with COPD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 24 million Americans have symptoms of COPD. COPD is a progressive disease, so it is imperative that one receives as early a diagnosis as possible, because it is incurable, and early treatment is vital for slowing its progress. While COPD is mainly a risk factor for people who have smoked, it should also be noted that the disease has underlying genetic risk factors and healthy non-smokers can also develop the disease.

The Battle Against COPD

The chance that our military veterans will develop COPD is three times higher than that of the civilian U.S. population In fact, COPD is the fifth most prevalent disease in the veteran population, affecting approximately 15 percent of Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare users. Amongst hospitalized veterans aged 65-74, COPD is the fourth most common diagnosis.

Military veterans may be exposed to greater amounts of dust, fumes, and chemicals at levels that could lead to lung damage. Because many veterans living with COPD don’t know they have it, it is important that they recognize the disease symptoms as soon as possible:

  • Ongoing cough, or a cough that produces large amounts of mucus
  • Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
  • Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
  • Chest tightness

COPD symptoms can occur years before the flow of air into and out of the lungs worsens. In addition to shortness of breath, COPD patients commonly suffer from anxiety and depression, making this disease a serious medical, financial, and emotional burden on patients and their care-giving families. Veterans who show signs of COPD, or think they might be at risk, should consult their physician as soon as possible and ask to be screened for the disease. Also, they can take the first step toward determining their risk by taking the five-question COPD Risk Screener at: www.DRIVE4COPD.org/screener.

John W. WalshIn order to help prevent, diagnose, and treat COPD, military veterans should get an annual breathing test, called spirometry, to determine if lung function is changing, and discuss any concerns about exposure to possible environmental hazards with a physician. By knowing the risks that can increase the chances of COPD, veterans can take steps now to reduce their exposure and maintain lung health for a long time to come. November is COPD Awareness Month, an ideal time for veterans – and all Americans – to get screened and learn more about COPD diagnosis, treatment, and the many advances in research being made to ultimately cure this disease.

About the Author

John W. Walsh, who was diagnosed with Alpha-1-related genetic COPD in 1989, is the Co-Founder and President of the COPD Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and supporting programs, which improve the quality of life through research, education, early diagnosis and enhanced therapy for persons whose lives are impacted by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). He is also the Co-Founder of the Alpha-1 Foundation (a research organization) and AlphaNet, Inc. (a unique, not-for-profit disease management services company run by and for patients). He can be reached at 1-866-316-COPD (2673) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Top 3 Best Online Mattresses Review 05 01,2017 (06:44)  
Top 3 Best Online Mattresses Review Yes No   This is one of the best post i have seen.  
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
best espresso machine 05 25,2017 (07:35)  
best espresso machine Yes No   The article is well written and has benefited a lot.lol
 
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
Leroche 05 01,2017 (15:03)  
Yes No   Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!  
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
trademark registration india 05 02,2017 (03:11)  
trademark registration india Yes No   Your blogs are amazing as well as informative. I like them for being concise and to the point.  
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
jhons alex 05 05,2017 (14:41)  
company registration Yes No   Very nice writing. I will keep these tips in my mind. This blog has really peaks my interest. Thank you so much.
 
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
jhons alex 05 06,2017 (09:45)  
Swansea accountancy services Yes No   Thank you so much. This is very kind of you to share such an amzing knowledge. Hats off.
 
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
jhons alex 05 07,2017 (05:12)  
voyance par telephone Yes No   I was searching such type of post for many days .Very accurate and informative. Love this writer . You are doing great job man.
 
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
jhons alex 05 09,2017 (09:29)  
Pemabooks Yes No   This article clears my mind. Writer has done great job. Best thing about this blog is its simplicity. Thank you so much. Keep posting
 
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
jhons alex 05 11,2017 (04:28)  
Los angeles Model photography Yes No   VRset Fashion Photographer Los Angeles Orange County Video Production provides LA & OC designers, agencies, editors with studio, location, e-comm, look book, advertising, editorial and video promos with fast turnaround. drop-ship your clothing, apparel & fashion to my studio for fashion photography in los angeles, you receive look book, e-commerce and advertising photography in LA with top California models!  
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
jhons alex 05 12,2017 (14:26)  
Los angeles Model photography Yes No   VRset Fashion Photographer Los Angeles Orange County Video Production provides LA & OC designers, agencies, editors with studio, location, e-comm, look book, advertising, editorial and video promos with fast turnaround. drop-ship your clothing, apparel & fashion to my studio for fashion photography in los angeles, you receive look book, e-commerce and advertising photography in LA with top California models!
 
   
  Edit comment Delete comment Unpublish comment
 
Hide comment form Hide comment form
  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Stroke
  • Quote
  • Ordered List Unordered List
  • Smileys
  • :confused:
  • :cool:
  • :cry:
  • :laugh:
  • :lol:
  • :normal:
  • :blush:
  • :rolleyes:
  • :sad:
  • :shocked:
  • :sick:
  • :sleeping:
  • :smile:
  • :surprised:
  • :tongue:
  • :unsure:
  • :whistle:
  • :wink:
 
 
 
 
 

Submissions Welcome

Submit an article to our online magazine and website.

 

Add your event to our Job Fair Calendar

 

Upload a job posting to our Career Search Engine

Get Included in Inclusion

The companies and organizations seen here are specifically hiring people with your talents, background, and skills.

 

Check out our job postings and list of participating employers to find your perfect career today.

Our Diversity Family

Connect With Us

Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Find us on LinkedIn

Subscribe to our Newsletter  Add our RSS

Proudly Connected

ZipRecruiter
VetCentral - Part of the US.jobs Family

EqualityMagazines.com

BECOME A DIVERSITY PARTNER

 

If you'd like to advertise with the Veterans Enterprise, and to learn more about the benefits of veteran recruiting, visit EqualityMagazines.com