Five accounts to follow on social media if you're interested in COPD
Chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, commonly referred to as COPD, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It affects more than 16 million Americans, and millions more have it but don’t know it. At Antidote, we believe in the power of the patient voice to provide inspiration and hope to others in similar situations. Social media networks have become platforms for many people with COPD to share their stories, meet others with similar experiences, and support one another. These are five accounts we’re fans of that you should follow on social media if you’re interested in learning more about life with COPD.
Brian Simpson, aka lungwarrior_rtt on Instagram
Brian Simpson is a clinical documentation improvement specialist (CDIS) and respiratory therapist located in Pennsylvania. During his career, he has been involved in acute care, non-invasive cardiology, pulmonary, and cardiac rehab.
Simpson tops the #CODP and #COPDAwareness social feeds on Instagram (@lungwarrior_rrt) with content relating to respiratory therapy. His posts include light-hearted memes, journal articles, personal accounts of the therapies he uses, and activities like walking and playing in the yard with his dog. Simpson cultivates community through thoughtful use of his hashtags, which helps others in the #lungwarrior community find, engage, and relate with this content.
The COPD Awareness page on Instagram (copd_awareness) is a public account that highlights the COPD community. They encourage members to utilize the #COPDAwareness hashtag. They also run a private Facebook page called “COPD Support,” which is a safe forum for those with COPD or those with loved ones who live with COPD.
Their Instagram account is full of insightful graphics and illustrations that call attention to the basics of COPD, the stages of COPD, and signs and symptoms of COPD, as well as light-hearted and funny memes and novelty items.
COPD Foundation is a community-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by COPD. Their Facebook page has over 24,000 likes with actively engaged followers. Their Twitter page (@COPDFoundation), which has more than 17,000 followers, focuses on news and events related to COPD. The COPD Foundation YouTube page puts the spotlight on real COPD patients, tutorials of different therapies used for COPD, and educational webinars. This is a great resource for anyone interested in engaging with the COPD community online.
Elina, aka ellusstiina on Instagram
Elina is a Finnish woman living in Ireland who posts inspiring photos at the gym, often with her oxygen machine. Her bio on Instagram (@ellusstiina) says that she is “Sick and Fit 💪🏼” and calls herself out as a person living with COPD/emphysema/asthma.
Elina doesn’t let her chronic emphysema stop her. She mostly shares pictures and videos of her personal life, including footage from her workout routines, stories from her trips to the medical facilities, and sometimes calls for questions from her followers about her chronic conditions, which helps her raise awareness, explain, and inspire.
COPD Exercise to Healthy Living
COPD Exercise To Healthy Living is a private support group on Facebook with 5,500 members. The members are all about managing COPD through exercise, a healthy diet, and a positive mindset. Other topics of discussion include holistic health, herbs, journals, meditation, and ideas for coping with COPD. They also have an active, public Instagram account that features mostly uplifting graphics like “COPD STRONG.”
There are more Facebook groups, too — you can find them here: Facebook groups. If you want to check out more content on Instagram, search for COPD and you’ll find some other great resources.
New studies are testing the safety and efficacy of investigational treatments for COPD. People living with COPD are needed to help move this science forward.