The British Lung Foundation (BLF) is offering free lung function tests and expert advice in a shopping centre near you:
• Connswater Shopping Centre, 14th March at 10am-4pm.
• Ards Shopping Centre, 15th March at 10am-4pm.
• ASDA Superstore, Strabane, 23rd March at 10am-4pm.
• Tesco EXTRA, Craigavon, Wednesday 28th March at 10am-4pm.
• ADSA Superstore, Coleraine, 30th March 10am-4pm.
The events are part of an on-going ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign and are the first of their kind in Northern Ireland.
This year, local politicians will join health experts in inviting shoppers to check their lung health and find out more about respiratory wellbeing.
The BLF offers advice on a range of topics from welfare to medical assistance. It also boasts an extensive network of local support in the shape of ‘Breathe Easy Groups’. BLF staff will be on hand to discuss the help and opportunities they offer to anyone interested in respiratory health.
Head of British Lung Foundation Scotland and Northern Ireland, Dr James Cant said:
“Most people don’t think about their lung health until it becomes a problem. We’re inviting shoppers to take advantage of our free tests before things get to that stage.
Not many people realise that lung performance is a key indicator of life expectancy. So testing lung function can be of crucial importance.
Northern Ireland has a high rate of lung conditions when compared to other parts of the UK. In Belfast alone, the chances of being admitted to hospital with COPD are 24% higher than the UK average.
The BLF is there to campaign for those with lung conditions and ensure they always get the support they need. Dropping into a ‘Love Your Lungs’ event is the ideal way to find out how we can help you. “
Nessie Blair, British Lung Foundation Development Officer for Northern Ireland, said:
“Breathing tests are a quick and easy way to check lung health. Taking two minutes to have a test could save a lot of future uncertainty and discomfort.
Nobody should be suffering a persistent cough or feeling breathless after climbing the stairs. These are signs that something is wrong. We’re keen to ensure those showing such symptoms get the information and referrals they need, to breathe a sigh of relief.
This valuable project has been funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA). We’re delighted it has recognised the difference we are making to so many people’s lives.”
Dr Jenny Gingles, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said:
“The PHA is happy to support the ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign. The pro-active spirit of these events is admirable and will really encourage people to think about their health.
There are over 31,000 people in Northern Ireland who have been diagnosed with COPD. We believe there are many others who suffer from the condition without knowing they have it. The ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign is a great opportunity to find those who fall into that category.
Smoking is a major cause of COPD and will cause the condition to worsen. If we identify smokers at risk, we can give them the help they need to quit. This would reduce the risk of their health significantly deteriorating.
The ‘Love Your Lungs’ campaign is an ideal way to find those who need help and to spread awareness of what support is available.”
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