With e-cigarettes and vape machines popping up around every corner, it is high time we stop taking our lungs for granted. Technically speaking, our lungs are just as crucial to our survival as our heart, and yet, these vital organs are often left neglected. Without healthy and sufficient gaseous exchange, you would suffer from countless maladies that could range from fatigue to lung cancer. Carcinogens, climate change, and hereditary diseases are the most common causes of prevalent lung diseases today. While some of these diseases may require intensive care and regular medical treatment, others can be prevented from reaching dangerous and untreatable stages. Unfortunately, there’s only so much defense your body can naturally provide against harm to the lungs; the rest of the protection comes from your willingness to keep your body healthy and well.
- Reduce exposure to harmful substances
Asbestos exposure has been one of the slow killers affecting the lungs and other vital organs for decades. Asbestos is commonly used in manufacturing and building industries as it strengthens cementitious products and is a primary component of sound-proofing materials. Almost all of us are exposed to asbestos; however, it’s not harmful until inhaled, putting industrial workers, miners, and construction workers at the highest risk. Inhalation of asbestos for prolonged periods can make you prone to contracting diseases like lung cancer or peritoneal mesothelioma , a rare yet more malignant cancer affecting the abdominal lining.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the most aggravating disease with close links to asbestos. As with most cancers, symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma don’t show up that easily, and it is often misdiagnosed. If you believe you’ve had asbestos exposure and suffer symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and pain in your pelvic area, it is in your best interest to visit a mesothelioma specialist. Reduce your exposure to asbestos by hiring professionals while remodeling your house so they may rid your home of asbestos-infested products.
- Quit smoking
Quitting smoking, be it vaping or just your usual rolled-up cigarette, is a no-brainer. The chances of developing lung cancer reduce by half when you give up smoking. Smoking is the leading known cause of most lung cancer occurrences. It affects not only smokers, but anyone exposed to the smoke for a prolonged period may also be at potential risk of lung cancer.
Second-hand smoke or passive smoking can be just as adverse as smoking. While smokers inflict this damage on their lungs, family members or friends could face the adverse effects of smoking without even committing the act. Passive smoking is even more harmful to children since it impacts their growing phase and makes them susceptible to more diseases.
Giving up smoking may not be the easiest task, but it is undoubtedly the easiest way to increase your chances of living a healthy life.
- Breathe fresh air
This may be the toughest of all the ways to keep your lungs healthy as it isn’t always in your reach to find yourself in a clean atmosphere. Pollutants from traffic account for most of the contaminants in the air around you. Avoid walking or exercising outdoors during peak traffic times or moving the exercising indoors. When indoors, control your in-house environment by ensuring the space is always well-ventilated. Open the windows and appreciate the fresh air or look into artificial ventilation options. It is also important to regularly rid the surfaces in your rooms of dust particles.
Other ways of controlling air quality go beyond individual steps and require us to come together. For example, help reduce pollution in your area by promoting bicycles, carpooling, and public and mass transit modes instead of using cars. Another thing that can drastically improve the air quality index is avoiding burning wood and trash since the pesky soot particles heavily damage your respiratory system.
- Exercise regularly
It seems as though regular exercise can help combat almost any disease coming your way. It isn’t too far-fetched to agree with the statement above since exercising can improve your overall health, including helping your lungs function healthily. Working out improves your lung function, enhances your immune system, and reduces inflammation in the interior lining of the lungs, aging, and the risk of lung diseases.
- Practice breathing
Breathing exercises and regular exercise can be highly effective against any lung disease that may come your way. Your lungs need a deep cleansing regularly to rid them of all the toxins and pollutants that may settle in. Most people don’t use their lungs to their full potential, which can be overcome by trying to breathe in deeply. Deep breathing can also be done using diaphragmatic breathing exercises, which involve concentrating on your diaphragm to inhale for longer than usual. Believe it or not, laughing is also an excellent exercise for increasing lung capacity. Taking special care of your posture also affects how well you breathe. You can try sitting tall and expanding your chest to help improve inhalation.
A critical key to keeping your lungs healthy is drinking enough water, which keeps the mucosal lining thin and helps improve lung function.
- Preventing Infections
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic shook the planet, the risk of getting infected has kept us all on edge. Although the pandemic restrictions may have already taught you about avoiding crowds during flu season and the benefits of wearing a mask, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. People more susceptible to influenza could get annual influenza shots to stay on the safer side. Maintaining good oral hygiene is of utmost importance since most infections make their way into your body through your mouth and nose.
Embracing a healthy diet ultimately helps your chances of redacting a disease. For example, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps your vitamin and mineral intake, which are natural defenders against flu and other illnesses.
Since your body would not last a second without your lungs conducting their business, they must get the attention and appreciation they deserve for keeping your body alive and kicking. Small steps like changing some lifestyle habits can enhance your lung function and help you lead the healthy life you deserve. If you have a family history of lung diseases, it becomes more of a responsibility to take care of what you put in your body. Keeping your doctor in the loop is an excellent way to diagnose a disease in its initial stage. After all, healthy lungs are crucial for a healthy life and deserve your best care.