Sunflower lanyards: support for travelling with invisible illnesses

Travelling through airports with an invisible illness can be difficult, as it may not be obvious to others that you need extra time or assistance. The experience can be stressful and anxious for some, and it may be hard to explain your hidden symptoms. This is why several airports in the UK have implemented a scheme, so that those with invisible illnesses can order a sunflower lanyard to wear through the airport. These lanyards make the wearer more visible so that they can travel independently, but access help quickly if needed. Some supermarkets are also trialing this scheme.

To find out more about sunflower lanyards, click here

World Continence Week 2019

This week is World Continence Week, an annual event designed to raise awareness of bladder weakness and pelvic health. These are very common problems – bladder weakness alone affects 1 in 3 people – but there still remains a stigma which needs to be tackled. Due to chronic coughing, many aspergillosis patients will face stress incontinence (loss of urine due to pressure put on the bladder), which can impact on airway clearance techniques and life in general. Unfortunately, incontinence is seen as part and parcel of ageing (or illness, pregnancy etc.), so many don’t access the help they need. However, incontinence can be helped, and in many cases cured, with exercises, surgery or medication. World Continence Week aims to educate people on how common pelvic health issues are, reduce the stigma surrounding them and link people with the help they may need.

For more information:

Love your lungs week 2019

This week is the British Lung Foundation’s Love Your Lungs Week, a chance to raise awareness about breathlessness and lung disease. As many aspergillosis sufferers will know, lung disease can be difficult to diagnose and can have a significant impact on quality of life. The BLF are raising awareness of their online breath test – a quick and easy way to check whether or not your level of breathlessness is something you should be concerned about. Often people put off mentioning breathlessness to their doctors because they’re not sure it’s something they should be worried about, or they’re worried that their doctors will be disapproving about their lifestyle or smoking habit. However, breathlessness is a serious symptom and can be indicative of severe lung conditions, such as lung cancer, COPD and rarer diseases like aspergillosis. Breathlessness needs to be checked out so that people can access the treatment they need to prevent their quality of life diminishing. Even if breathlessness isn’t due to a health condition, your GP can help you with advice on improving fitness levels and stopping smoking.

You can help by raising awareness about the significance of breathlessness and lung health online and in your communities. Lung disease affects 1 in 5 people, which means you may know several people whose lives could be changed by taking the BLF breathlessness test.

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