Supporting patients with lung conditions
Martin Wanendeya considers the challenges presented to dental treatment.
About 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with a lung disease every week, and approximately one in five people in the UK has ever developed asthma, COPD, or another long-term respiratory illness. This means you are likely to come across patients with a lung condition in practice on a regular basis.
Love Your Lungs Week, which ran in June, is an initiative started by the British Lung Foundation to raise awareness and focus on lung health. It also provides us the opportunity to improve our understanding of lung conditions – enabling us to adapt and enhance the care we provide to those affected. Never has this been more important during a year impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting lockdowns and shielding initiatives for those whose lung health is compromised.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease describes a group of lung conditions that affect an estimated 3m people in the UK and is, therefore, likely to impact a proportion of your patient base. In general, COPD is characterised by reduced expiratory flow and two main conditions – bronchitis and emphysema – which can often occur together.