November is National COPD Awareness Month

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Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyers discuss that November is national COPD awareness month.Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that is caused by long-term exposure to irritants, chemicals, or cigarette smoke. People with COPD often have difficulty breathing and may suffer from wheezing and a mucus-producing cough. In some cases, COPD can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and other health conditions. November is COPD Awareness Month, which increases public awareness about the disease and how workers can avoid exposure to harmful irritants. If you have been diagnosed with work-related COPD, you may be eligible to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits. A skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyer can review your case and ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

Throughout November, the COPD Foundation will work with other respiratory health organizations to host a range of activities that will help raise awareness of COPD. Employers can learn more about the types of chemicals and irritants that are known to increase workers’ risk of developing COPD and other lung diseases. The more employers understand and can identify the risks of COPD, the better they will be able to protect workers from developing this chronic disease.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In 2015, over three million people died from the disease. There are two main forms of COPD, including bronchitis and emphysema. Bronchitis is characterized by a nagging cough that is accompanied by mucus. Emphysema occurs when the alveoli in the lungs are damaged, causing the body to get insufficient oxygen. There is no cure for emphysema. In addition to being a serious disease on its own, COPD is a risk factor for a life-threatening condition called respiratory compromise. While potentially lethal, the condition can be avoidable if people take the appropriate steps to detect and prevent respiratory compromise.

Symptoms of COPD

 Common symptoms of COPD include the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Daily cough with mucus production
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Lack of energy
  • Lips or fingernail beds turn blue
  • Frequent respiratory infections

Occupations at Risk for COPD

Certain workers are more likely to develop COPD, including the following:

  • Miners
  • Firefighters
  • Construction workers
  • Gas and petroleum workers
  • Welders
  • Foundry and metal workers
  • Agriculture workers

If your job requires you to work in the vicinity of toxic fumes or be exposed to harmful particulates in the air, and your work environment was not properly ventilated, or the appropriate safety equipment was not provided, causing you to develop COPD, you are urged to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers with COPD

If you have work-related COPD, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will walk you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.