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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD for short, is no joke. It has killed over three million people in 2011, and is the fourth leading cause of death in the world.

Imagine your lungs were a fresh batch of tasty, delectable vanilla ice cream (never mind the castoreum for a moment, okay?). Well, with COPD, your lungs end up being this vanilla ice cream after a few minutes under hot klieg lights—that  are promptly dumped on by a hundred pigeons flying in formation.

Like anything, really, a lot of people have a lot of assumptions about this disease that don’t quite add up, though. With a mixture of old wives’ tales, hasty generalizations and outright ignorance, it’s a good idea to clear the air (pun intended) about these things, seeing as it’s COPD week.

For example, it is absolutely not true that…

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-8.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]8. Only Smokers Can Get COPD [/text_image]

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While it’s true that smoking is one of the major causes of COPD, it’s not the only one. Air pollution and genetics are at least two other culprits, which only goes to show that the only thing a carbon offset does is to help one’s conscience, but not the environment.

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-7.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]7. Asthma and COPD are Interchangeable [/text_image]

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While both of these diseases are similar, you need to make sure you get expert medical advice before you assume you have one or the other. Knowing the difference could very well make a huge difference in your road to recovery.

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-6.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]6. People With COPD Should Not Exercise [/text_image]

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Sounds intuitive, right? After all, you pant and wheeze so much after a workout, so why tempt the fates?

The thing is, like all muscles, your lungs can and do get stronger when pushed to its limits, within reason. Obviously, you need proper consultation as to what exercises are safe for your condition, but once you have a routine down pat, keep at it, as it can only help you over time. Ask your physician about pulmonary rehab to get started.

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-5.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]5. Quitting Smoking Will Not Help Much [/text_image]

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An excuse by people who smoke to not quit after getting diagnosed COPD, they just throw up their hands and another pack of cigarettes, thinking the problem won’t go away no matter what they try.

But I don’t think I need to link to a bunch of studies of things cigarettes can do to you, aside from COPD, including sterility, heart disease, and cancer, and having those in combination with COPD can’t possibly be good news.

Your lungs are already damaged. Why damage them further, when you can instead start mitigating what you’ve already done to yourself?

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-4.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]4. Quitting Smoking Will Reverse COPD [/text_image]

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Surprisingly, this is also an excuse by people who smoke to not quit after getting diagnosed with COPD, thinking that since they can quit any day now, they will totally undo all the horrible things they inflicted on their lungs. Ironically, articles that tout the health benefits of quitting smoking within minutes makes smokers feel that there’s no rush to quit smoking now.

Quitting smoking is not only difficult, but isn’t a magic reset button. There’s simply some damage that you can never reverse, because you are not a reptile, capable of regenerating lungs at will (Neither can reptiles, by the way.).

Again, your lungs are already damaged. Why damage them further, knowing that the smackdown you’re laying upon your lungs will never be completely undone?

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-3.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]3. Going On Supplementary Oxygen Means Your Days are Numbered [/text_image]

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This is the equivalent of saying you will die if you got thirsty, instead of just drinking water often enough whether or not you're thirsty. Using supplementary oxygen allows you to breathe normally when you otherwise wouldn’t, and we all know that struggling for oxygen when the option to use a tank instead is recommended would only cause more unnecessary wear and tear on your lungs – the last thing you want to do at this point.

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-2.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]2. COPD Spells the End of Your Sex Life [/text_image]

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We’ve all heard jokes about people dying in the middle of sex, so this sounds like a valid concern, and sounds like a myth we should totally perpetrate if it means more people would be scared into quitting smoking, but no, we can’t abide by a lie like that.

There are ways to still enjoy your sex life despite having COPD. Besides, the minute you got married, your sex life probably already ended [Editor’s Note – Funny, but not true.].

[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/copd-text-1.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]1. There Is No Treatment for COPD [/text_image]

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People are afraid that COPD is a death sentence of some sort, yet it isn’t uncommon to see people live people 20 years or more after diagnosis. With the proper diet, lifestyle choices, medication, and disposition, it can be kept at bay.

No, there is no cure for COPD, but the symptoms can be managed to live a fairly normal life. You just need to make sure that, above all else, you consult a medical professional for advice on this, which an internet semi-comedy writer, such as myself, clearly is not.

Nov. 1 to 5 is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Week. Consult your doctor should you have any questions or concerns about COPD. Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.

Kel Fabie

Kel Fabie. is a DJ, host, mentalist, satirist, comedian, and a long-time contributor to 8List (Hello, ladies!). He has an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and two other weirdly-named pet dogs. He blogs on mistervader.com.

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