Indian chest society is doing a commendable job in its efforts to increase awareness of respiratory diseases amongst general public. By providing a platform in the name of ‘Public Forum’ it has also given an opportunity to give your opinion which can create awareness in general public about the increasing incidence of respiratory diseases.

As we all know the incidence of respiratory diseases is increasing day by day. For this basically there are two reasons: firstly the smoking habits and secondly pollution. Of course there are few other reasons as allergens or professional hazards in miners and in industry workers and infections.

Respiratory diseases which are of concern are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is a group of diseases. Our concern to the general public is that since most of the time the cause is known and that cause is preventable or avoidable then why not an effort of awareness about these causes and measures of prevention should be widely promoted in general public so that a good number of persons can be saved from these diseases. COPD diseases are totally curable so why not a patient suffering from such diseases should be saved. This is not life threatening from beginning but reduces the capacity and well being of the person. Gradually the person becomes a patient then suffering starts which becomes a problem to the family also.

My main concern is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly known as COPD. Main causes of COPD is smoking, 80% of the smokers develop COPD. These smokers not only suffers themselves but persons nearby also intake smoke being exhaled by the smokers, they become passive smokers and to some extent they can also develop COPD in long run. In villages still cooking in most of the houses is done by traditional method which produces lot of smoke, thirdly smoke emitted by vehicles and industries is also a matter of concern as it is inhaled by nearby persons. Government has also done a good job by preventing smoking in public places. All the establishments of any type can make their own rule of no tobacco or smoking in their establishments.

Main symptom of COPD is coughing which may be dry or with sputum, if coughing continues for 2-3 months continuously for two years think of COPD and consult specialist doctor. Prevention is always better than cure so stop smoking or avoid inhaling smoke as soon as possible. If proper precautions and treatment is not taken then the disease goes on increasing and the capacity and stamina of person decreases which leads to weakness, loss of weight, irritability and mental illnesses start developing. When the disease has developed then no option is left except proper treatment, but patient has to leave smoking and keep away from sources of smoke. In presence of smoke and smoking treatment is not affective.

Dr O. P. Shrivastava
Medical Superintendent
H.O.D.,Anaesthesiology and ICU
Kothari Medical & Research Institute, Bikaner
Retired Prof. & H.O.D., Anaesthesiology,
Superintendent, Associated PBM Group of Hospitals,
SP. Medical College, Bikaner
Past president, Rajasthan State Branch of ISA 2009-2011
Past Vice President, West Zone of ISA 2011-12