It is estimated that there are 380,000 people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, in Ireland. Yet, 270,000 of these are unaware that they may have this serious and progressive lung condition. Sadly, according to the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System, at least 1,500 people die each year of COPD and over 15,000 patients are admitted to hospital with the disease.

While perhaps more well-known as bronchitis or emphysema, what is not so well-known about COPD are its symptoms and risk factors. Against this backdrop, and with World COPD Day taking place on Wednesday November 16, COPD Support Ireland is urging the people of Ireland to get to know the “ABC” of COPD and when they should get checked out: 

  • A is for those Age 35 and over
  • B is for ongoing Breathlessness
  • C is for a Cough that won’t go away, with or without phlegm

To mark World COPD Day, COPD Support Ireland is launching a series of expert videos on life with COPD. The videos cover topics such as what COPD is, types of treatments, managing breathlessness, using oxygen, coping with flare-ups, making the most of exercise, going abroad, and accessing support. Other educational resources to support people with COPD, including the COPD & Me information booklet, and the Exercise at Home poster, are also available and can be found at

Joan Johnston, General Manager, COPD Support Ireland, adds, “As we enter the winter season, I really cannot stress enough the importance of everyone getting their flu, pneumonia and COVID vaccines. This will not only help people whether they have COPD or not, but will also help minimise the risk of spreading infection to others. There were many new routines adopted in response to the pandemic and, if you have been diagnosed with COPD, or have lung health problems, it really does make sense to continue to avoid overly-crowded places at this time of year, and to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly when out and about.”

For full details of the national network of 33 COPD support groups under the COPD Support Ireland umbrella across the country, and the exercise and education programmes on offer, visit

Image cred: BSIP / Collection Mix: Subjects via Getty Images