Improving Lung Health

Improving Lung Health This Respiratory Care Week (Oct 21-27)

CT, Humble TXRespiratory Care Week is recognized as the week of October 21 to 27 annually. The event was created to raise awareness for improving lung health around the world. In honor of this week, below you’ll find some lung facts, as well as ideas for improving your lung health and perhaps the lung health of your friends and family.

Breathing Matters – Interesting Facts About Your Lungs

  • Did you know that you breathe in approximately 13 pints of air each minute on average? It’s true! At least, that’s the case for a person with healthy lungs. We won’t even get into how that is measured. Add to that the fact that adults typically take 15 to 20 breaths a minute, and that’s a whole lot of hot air!
  • Believe it or not, your lungs aren’t the same size. The right lung is slightly larger than the left lung in humans. This gives room for the heart – it has to have a space to hang out after all.
  • Lungs will float on water – that is if they are removed from a body. In fact, they are the only human organ that can float on water.
  • A person can live with just one lung. Though it may limit your physical abilities, you can live a full, normal life with just one.

Some Lung Facts That Aren’t As Fun

  • One of the more common lung diseases is Asthma. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.”
  • As recently as two years ago, the American Lung Association reported that in the United States, “More than 5 out of 10 people live where the air they breathe earned an F in State of the Air 2016.”
    • Poor air quality typically means you are at a higher risk for breathing in particle pollution. What is particle pollution? We’re so glad you asked! The American Lung Association defines it as “a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe. Many of the particles are so small as to be invisible, but when levels are high, the air becomes opaque. But nothing about particle pollution is simple.”
    • There are many reasons poor air quality is troubling including:
      • Breathing it in can increase lung cancer risk
      • It can cause early death and heart attacks, strokes, and trips to the ER for those with asthma, cardiovascular disease and even diabetes
      • Particle pollution can also result in a lower birth weight in newborns

Keep Them Pink – Improving Lung Health

Because we’re so used to having our lungs and can easily forget about the ease of breathing, we typically only remember that they are even there when something goes wrong. How can you keep your lungs as healthy as possible? We’re so glad you asked! Just a few things you can do include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Don’t smoke. This is perhaps the most easily controlled way of keeping your lungs healthy. If you are a current smoker, the faster you can stop the better. And, if you aren’t currently a smoker, don’t pick up the habit.
    • Like all bad habits, smoking is a tough one to break once you start.
    • While we’re on the subject, do your best to avoid secondhand smoke as well. A person who inhales too much smoke secondhand is at just much risk, if not more risk, for lung disease and emphysema as someone who smokes.
  • Mind your germs – when you get a cold or some other respiratory infection, it can get serious and have a negative impact on your lungs.
    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water regularly. Consider hand sanitizer when regular washing isn’t possible.
    • Get a flu shot
    • Brush your teeth – yep! The germs in your mouth can lead to infections, colds, and other issues that could cause trouble for your lungs
    • If your coworker is sick, try to avoid them. If you get sick, stay home!
  • Avoid indoor pollutants, and try to avoid outdoor particle pollution as well.
    • If you live in an area close to highways or heavily trafficked roads, you’re at greater risk for particle pollution.
    • If your work environment is filled with toxins, you may want to consider wearing a mask or in the worst cases, consider changing jobs.
  • Finally, exercise. Get your aerobics on, that is! Aerobic exercise is the best for improving the healthy of your lungs.
    • You can also add breathing exercises to your daily routine. Not only will this help improve your lung capacity, deep breathing exercises have been shown to reduce stress, and help people to relax.

If you liked this article, please do us a favor and share it to help spread awareness for improving lung health with even more people.

Though we hope you will not need it, should you be in the market for diagnostic imaging for your lungs or any other reason, GO Imaging is here for you. Click here to learn about all of our services!

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