Why It’s Important To Protect Yours
Lungs are the primary organs for gas exchange between the human body and its environment. They have to deal with a lot of stressors daily and are prone to different diseases. For that reason, keeping your lungs healthy is essential if you want to lead a long and healthy life. And while there are certain things you cannot change (like genetics), there are also actions that you can take to improve your lung health. The article below will introduce you to various aspects of lung health and why it’s important to keep them healthy as we grow older.
What Is Lung Health?
Simply put, lung health refers to the state in which your lungs are currently. It’s important to monitor your lung health as you grow older to catch any potential issues in their early stages. By monitoring your lung health, you can prevent certain diseases that may arise from excessive smoking or bad air quality. There are a few ways to determine if your lung health is high or low. Firstly, you can check your breathing rate. A normal breathing rate is anywhere between 12 and 20 breaths per min at rest. If your breath rate is higher than that, it could be a sign of an issue with your lungs. Lung capacity is another metric that can tell you how healthy your lungs are. There is a formula to calculate lung capacity, and while it isn’t 100% accurate, it can be a good guide.
Ways to Protect Your Lungs
Even though you can’t change some aspects of your genetics, some certain habits and behaviors can help you protect your lungs from certain diseases, like COPD and asthma. The first thing that you can do to protect your lungs is to avoid smoking. If you don’t smoke, then you are lucky because you don’t have to do anything other than avoid smoking in the first place. If you currently smoke, however, take our word for it and quit as soon as possible. The sooner you quit, the lower the risk of lung cancer and other diseases. If you quit smoking before the age of 40, your risk of lung cancer drops to that of a non-smoker. Next, you can improve the quality of your indoor air by using an air purifier and other devices that can remove pollutants and allergens from indoor air. You can also open windows and doors during summer to let in fresh outdoor air and improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of pollution indoors.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is one of the most common diseases that affect the lungs. It is an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases that cause airflow limitation. This means that the condition causes reduced lung capacity, which can lead to shortness of breath and even heart disease. If you are a smoker, there is a chance that you are already suffering from COPD, although the condition can also occur in non-smokers. The condition can also come with other symptoms like a chronic cough, frequent lung infections, and wheezing during breathing.
Asthma is another disease that affects the lungs and can be a serious condition that requires daily treatment. The condition often presents itself as a swelling of the airways and can be triggered by allergens, cold weather, or exercise. If you are suffering from asthma, you might experience symptoms like difficulty breathing, a cough, wheezing, and a tight feeling in your chest. In some severe cases, the airways can narrow so much that you need to be hospitalized and put on a breathing machine.
Smoking and its side effects
If you are a smoker, you know that smoking is harmful to your health. Smoking has been linked to an array of diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer, COPD, and even type 2 diabetes. It’s also been proven that nicotine is highly addictive and can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. One of the most common lung-related diseases caused by smoking is lung cancer. Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, along with other cancers such as colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, gastric cancer, and bladder cancer. Other bad effects of smoking include bad breath, yellow teeth, stained fingers, and reduced lung function.
Lung health is something that many people take for granted. We expect our lungs to just work, even though they are constantly exposed to harmful toxins and pollutants. As you can see, it’s important to take care of your lungs to ensure a long and healthy life. If you want to protect your lungs, you need to avoid smoking, improve indoor air quality, and reduce your exposure to pollutants. You can also consider taking certain supplements that can help improve lung health.