Residents advised to report breathlessness to GPs - a sign of serious disease say health chiefs

Dr Dayo Kuku
Dr Dayo Kuku

If you get out of breath doing everyday things the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is asking you to speak to your GP as it could be a sign of serious disease.

They say breathlessness is a key symptom of heart disease and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People with COPD suffer long-term breathing difficulties which can seriously affect their day-to-day lives. There is no cure for COPD, but there are lots of treatments available to help manage the condition and improve symptoms and quality of life.

Nearly 46,000 people in the East of England have lung disease that has not been diagnosed, and more than 76,000 have undiagnosed heart disease.

Dr Dayo Kuku, local GP and BCCG’s clinical lead for respiratory and cardiology care said: “We want people to know how serious breathlessness can be if it is not treated early. If you are breathless while doing your normal day to day activities, it could be a sign of something more serious and finding it early makes it more treatable.

“It might be nothing, but it is important to get it checked out by visiting your GP. So don’t ignore breathlessness but visit your GP and get the help and treatment you need.”

The breathlessness campaign is running in the East of England throughout February and encourages people to visit their family doctor straight away if they have been experiencing breathlessness while doing everyday activities such as: vacuuming; mowing the lawn; walking at normal pace; moving from the sofa to make a cup of tea; dressing and undressing; climbing a short flight of stairs.

By encouraging people to see their family doctor sooner, the campaign hopes to improve the lives of people with long-term conditions and reduce premature deaths.