World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day- Observed on November 18

World COPD Day is observed on the third Wednesday of every year, to create awareness about the disease. This year, the day is falling on November 18, 2020. The theme for this year is ‘Living well with COPD – Everybody, Everywhere’.

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a condition that blocks airflow from the lungs. This hampers the patient’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities with ease. ‘Emphysema’, which causes damage to alveoli in the lungs, and ‘Chronic bronchitis’ which causes inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes, are the most common conditions that can lead to COPD.


Symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath, wheezing, or chronic cough, while the damage to the lungs caused by COPD cannot be reversed.

What are the concerns associated with the disease?

According to WHO, COPD is the third largest reason for deaths due to diseases. Approximately, 90 percent of COPD deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. The incidence of the disease is steeply rising due to the poor air quality in highly populated Indian cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.

  • Lack of awareness is a major concern: An alarming fact is that, after pollution, lack of awareness about this condition is the major reason for the increased risk of COPD deaths.
  • Absence of proper treatment: There are significant gaps in the clinical approach to the management of COPD and other airway diseases.
  • Misdiagnosis and ill-equipped healthcare: Most primary healthcare units are ill-equipped and hence primary care physicians are unable to diagnose the disease in the early stages.


All patients of COPD should use medicines on a regular basis for lifelong for stable COPD. Inhalers containing broncho-dilators form the main mode of therapy. They are useful in opening and maintaining blocked airways. Bronchodilator treatment is now thought to be the most important facet of treating COPD. Patients should also avoid self-medication and smoking; do regular exercise; keep stress at bay, and keep your surroundings clean.