DOCTORS are urging people to take a life-saving test.
People in the Easington area are being offered a simple test to identify whether they are at risk of chronic lung conditions.
The spirometry test is being offered to high-risk patients at GP practices in the Easington area and coincided with World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day, which took place earlier this month.
Patients are asked to breathe into a machine called a spirometer which records two measurements – the volume of air you can breathe out in one and the total amount of air you breathe out.
The readings are then compared with normal measurements for your age, which can show if airways are obstructed.
New patients registering with a GP in the Easington area who smoke, and existing patients who attend practice-based smoking cessation clinics will be offered the spirometry test to identify early signs of COPD – which is an umbrella term for a number of conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Symptoms of COPD include a persistent cough, a wheezy chest and recurrent chest infections.
Carol Hardy, specialist nurse and associate chairman of Easington Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is never too late to stop smoking and we now have treatments available that can help to improve the quality of your life. Please don’t ignore your ‘smokers cough’ any longer: make an appointment at your GP surgery to get tested.”