Hundreds of thousands of people across the United States suffer from heart and lung problems every year, with nearly 160,000 Americans expected to die from lung cancer, the leading cause of death from cancer in the nation. Everyone knows that smoking is a key cause of lung cancer, but there are other environmental factors as well, including radon exposure, air pollution and exposure to dangerous substances at work such as asbestos. Working to maintain healthy lungs is vital to your longevity and lifelong well-being.
Your lungs are the primary organ that allows oxygen to enter your body and get rid of toxins like carbon dioxide. From your lungs, the oxygen you breathe in can pass into your blood where it nourishes your heart, brain, muscles and the entirety of your body. When you don’t have healthy lungs, it quickly can become a systemic condition where your whole person isn’t receiving the nourishment you need.
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. There is nothing about smoking that is good for you. It causes your air passages to narrow, makes it hard to breathe and creates chronic inflammation. This can lead to bronchitis, pneumonia and other conditions, including cancer. The pollutants in smoke gradually destroy your lung tissue over time, and once the damage is done it is difficult to impossible to undo.
Pollutants in the air from things like secondhand smoke, smog, airborne chemicals like certain cleaners, friable asbestos and other airborne impurities at home in the workplace can cause lung damage. While at home, use air purifiers and air conditioning to keep your home air as clean as possible. Your options while out on the town or at work are limited, but do what you can to avoid exposure to such chemicals when out and about in order to maintain healthy lungs.
Good personal hygiene is always your first line of defense against lung disease, cancer and other respiratory problems. Make sure you shower regularly, wash your hands often with soap and water, brush and floss your teeth, remain current on vaccinations and avoid crowds during flu season. By taking precautions and staying on top of your personal hygiene, you can go a long way towards protecting your lungs from damage and disease.
See your doctor and dentist on a regular basis for healthcare checkups and tooth cleaning. Regular checkups with your doctor are an overall important means of staying hale and healthy, and many people don’t realize that gum disease can translate into damage to your heart and lungs.
If you have allergies, sinusitis or sleep problems, see a specialist ENT doctor to get them taken care of. All of these conditions, if not treated properly, can lead to lung damage down the line.
Efforts to maintain healthy lungs are an important part of staying healthy and living a long and happy life. If you are experiencing breathing issues, sleep apnea or sinusitis and are in the Atlanta area, we can help. Give us a call for more information today.