|2010 is Year of the Lung|
“We all know that we have to breathe to live. Nevertheless the central role of the lung is neglected in basic health care,” says Dr Nils E Billo, Executive Director of the Union, which, as part of the Forum of International Respiratory Diseases (FIRS), is one of the organisers of the 2010 Year of the Lung.
The Year of the Lung aims to raise awareness about lung health among the public, initiate action in communities worldwide, advocate for resources to combat lung disease including increased investment in basic, clinical and translational research to improve patient care, convey that prevention of respiratory diseases is far more cost effective than their treatment, and spread the message that clean air is a fundamental human right.
As a blood pressure test provides a simple screening method for cardiovascular disease, a spirometry test can help to unmask the early symptoms of a variety of lung diseases before any more obvious signs appear. Consequently the tests are being championed as a way to overcome the widespread under-diagnosis of serious lung conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Spirometry is a simple, non-invasive test which involves having a patient breathe deeply in and out for a spirometer machine, and measures the amount (volume) and/or speed (flow) of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. It measures how much air the lungs can hold and how well the lungs are able to move air in and out. As breathing in and out can be affected by lung diseases, the test can diagnose at an early stage whether a patient has COPD, asthma, pulmonary/cystic fibrosis or other respiratory problems.
According to international footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, "Healthy lungs are essential to breathe and be able to surpass the goals which we set ourselves every day. I support this cause so that everyone understands the importance of evaluating the health of the lungs regularly."
Shobha Shukla - CNS
(The author is the Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS) and also serves as the Director of CNS Gender Initiative and CNS Diabetes Media Initiative (CNS-DMI). She has worked earlier with State Planning Institute, UP. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.citizen-news.org)
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