This week is Love Your Lungs Week, and we want to raise awareness about air pollution and the effects it can have on lung health.
From the 21st-27th June, Asthma and Lung UK (formally known as The British Lung Foundation) are using the Love Your Lungs campaign to raise awareness about lung health. They are a charity that wants to create a future where everyone can breathe clean air with healthy lungs – a cause which MAC wholeheartedly support and are dedicated to.
The charity campaigns for further research into lung conditions as well as improving care and spreading the word on how lung diseases can be prevented, with informative help and advice for those living with lung conditions and their loved ones.
Campaigns for better lung health have included stop smoking as well as bettering public understanding of how air pollution affects our lung health. Air pollution can have both short and long term effects on our lung health it can come from a variety of different sources, including industrial processes, energy industries and road transport.
According to Public Health England, poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, as long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, leading to reduced life expectancy. In fact, it has been estimated that air pollution causes the equivalent of 40,000 early deaths every year.
These respiratory diseases can include asthma and some studies have shown that it could increase someone’s risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD refers to a group of lung conditions that cause breathing problems which include emphysema, damage to the air sacs in the lungs, and chronic bronchitis, long-term inflammation of the airways. These breathing problems typically get worse over time and can limit your ability to do normal activities like walking upstairs.
Although COPD is something that is mainly caused by smoking, air pollution could have an adverse effect on developing a lung condition like COPD.
For those already living with COPD, exposure to air pollution could cause a flare-up. A flare-up, sometimes referred to as an exacerbation, is when symptoms get worse.
People living with lung conditions such as COPD can find that symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with day-to-day life and reduce the quality of life. Common symptoms of COPD include persistent wheezing, frequent chest infections, increased breathlessness (particularly when active), lack of energy and a persistent chesty cough with phlegm. Whilst there are treatments available for lung conditions, such as inhalers, more research into effective treatments is needed, which is why lung health research is so important. As with all potential new treatments, clinical trials must take place to assess if the potential treatment is effective.
Clinical Research Organisations like MAC Clinical Research are committed to help improve the life of people living with conditions such as COPD. If you or someone you know are aged between 40 – 85 years old, living with COPD and are a former or current smoker, there is a clinical trial available which could provide a potential treatment option for COPD patients with eosinophilic inflammation and those at risk for exacerbations. The study medication is being developed as an add-on maintenance treatment for the prevention of exacerbations in patients with COPD. The clinical trial has been approved by the MHRA and an independent ethics committee, and with your participation, you may be able to help people like yourself around the world.
This trial will run at our Lancashire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, and Teesside sites. For more information, visit our website.