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Lungs work round the clock, taking in air from the outside environment and making sure it reaches every single cell in the body. In that respect, these delicate organs are directly exposed to the outside environment, and contact with any harmful substance threatens the lung’s ability to function properly. While the body does have a natural defense mechanism to keep out impurities and germs to maintain healthy lungs, there are still ways one can land up with a lung infection or disorder.
Here are 10 crucial things one should know to get healthy lungs:
#1. Quit Smoking
If you smoke, quit today! If you are a non-smoker, please don’t pick up the habit. Smoking is a huge contributor to some serious health problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, heart attack and stroke. Besides posing harm to self, a smoker puts others also at risk of developing these diseases. It is never too late to quit to discover the health benefits when away from cigarette smoke.
#2. Don’t become a passive smoker
Second-hand smoke carries the same dangers to those who inhale it as it is for smokers. In fact, two-thirds of the smoke leaving a cigarette is not even inhaled by the smoker; rather is passes on in the air around others. Here are some ways to avoid passive smoking:
- Keep your home, vehicle and workplace smoke-free.
- Choose activities and venues that are smoke-free or have a non-smoking section.
- Stay as far as possible from a person smoking a cigarette.
#3. Be aware of the effects of air pollution outside – Do your bit for clean air
Gases and particles released into the air from various sources like industries and vehicles can irritate lungs and also make certain diseases like asthma and COPD worse. Here are some ways to avoid air pollution:
- Avoid unnecessary burning of vehicle fuel; turn the engine off when on idle.
- Avoid chemicals and pesticides in the garden and house cleaning
- Follow all laws that aim for better air quality
- Follow the Air Quality Index for your city; stay indoors when it is inching towards dangerous levels
#4. Improve the air quality indoors
- Control humidity levels in the home. Typically, 30-50% humidity is most comfortable.
- Regularly clean and service air conditioners, air coolers and heating devices
- Control the amount of dust in home. Keep bedding, carpets, sofas, etc. free of dust to keep dust mites away.
- Make sure home and workplace are properly ventilated to bring in clean, fresh air. Newly painted homes must be left open to let out the smell of paint.
#5. Protection from respiratory infections
There are numerous bacterial, viral and fungal infections that can affect the lungs. Maintaining good hand and oral hygiene, avoiding crowds during cold season and staying updated with vaccinations is necessary to keep respiratory infections at bay and healthy lungs.
#6. Know the warning signs for timely action
Cough that does not go away even after a month, difficult breathing even under restful conditions, chest pain, blood in cough, etc. must not be taken lightly. Stay alert for any signs of lung trouble.
#7. Protection from work hazards
Certain jobs like those in construction, painting and mining are at higher risk of developing lung cancer and other diseases. People working in such settings much wear protective clothing like masks at all times and ensure good ventilation of workspaces.
#8. Eat right
Studies have shown a direct link between foods rich in anti-oxidants and healthy lungs. These are also known to keep the risk of lung cancer low.
Exercise is good for the fitness of heart and lungs and it allows an efficient supply of oxygen to these organs. It is particularly important in patients with chronic lung diseases.
#10. Take care of existing lung conditions
Those with COPD and asthma know the importance of keeping symptoms under control. There are medicines in form of corticosteroid and albuterol inhalers that help keep respiratory attacks and symptoms manageable. Keep up with all follow-up visits with the pulmonologist.
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This write-up was contributed by Credihealth content team:
Credihealth is India’s No.1 Medical Assistance company. Credihealth gives guidance to a patient from the first consultation through the entire hospitalization process. A team of in-house doctors helps the patient find the right doctor, book appointment, request cost estimate for procedures and manage admission & discharge processes.
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