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The Canadian Lung Association Helps Canadians Affected by Lung Disease to Live Their Best Lives

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old man clutching his chest at the doctors
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The Canadian Lung Association (CLA) is a national health charity and the leading organization in Canada working to promote lung health and prevent and manage lung disease. The CLA funds vital research, push for improved treatments and innovative policies, and provides support, resources, and information for Canadians living with lung disease and their families.

Ways to Show Your Lungs Some Love This Winter

1. Learn about chronic cough

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It’s estimated that chronic cough — a cough that lasts eight weeks or more — affects about 16 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 45 and 85. It can seriously disrupt your life and affect you physically, emotionally, and socially, but there’s help available to manage your cough. Speak to your health-care provider.

2. Test your home for radon

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Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can enter your home through cracks in the foundation and build up to dangerous levels. Long-term exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada and the leading cause for non-smokers. The only way to find out if your home has high radon levels is to test for it. High radon levels can be easily fixed at a reasonable price. There may even be funding available to you for home radon mitigation. Visit our website for more information.

3. Don’t quit on quitting


Quitting smoking is hard. People who use supports (including nicotine replacement therapy or counselling) are generally more successful in their attempts. But not all supports work for all people, so take some time to learn which ones might work best for you to give yourself the best chance at quitting.

4. Get vaccinated

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Making sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations for viruses that affect the lungs — like COVID-19 and the flu — are some of the best ways to keep yourself healthy this winter. Your health-care provider may also recommend getting vaccinated against pneumonia if you’re over 65 or at high risk for infection.

5. Stop idling

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Idling — particularly of diesel engines — generates exhaust that’s harmful not only to the environment but also to your health. Exposure to diesel emissions can aggravate existing lung conditions and, in the long term, lead to cancer or other serious issues. Diesel-engine school buses idling outside schools are a significant concern as this can increase the particulate matter in the air to dangerous levels for children whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

Lung disease doesn’t only affect the person who’s diagnosed. It also affects their family members and loved ones. The Canadian Lung Association supports all Canadians affected with lung disease — Canadians like Wayne, Peggy, and Kristen.

I used to be very robust, athletic, and active. The disease is wearing me down to the point it’s getting difficult to function.

Wayne J, from Calgary, Alta., lives with interstitial lung disease.

As a caregiver, the most important thing you can do is be supportive and learn as much about the disease as you can.

Peggy J is Wayne’s caregiver and wife of 48 years.

Finally, after two years of trying different medications and receiving referrals, I was diagnosed with COPD.

Kristen E, from Prince Edward County, Ont., was diagnosed with COPD when she was only 35 years old.
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