According to the World Health Organization, every year 3 million people die worldwide from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Additionally, lung cancer makes up 25% of all cancer deaths, making it the deadliest type of cancer in the United States. Given these sobering statistics, it’s clear that protecting your lungs is essential. Here are four ways you can do so.
Stop Smoking (or Never Start)
Smoking cigarettes is detrimental to your lung health and is a significant cause of lung cancer and COPD. Cigarette smoke has been shown to cause chronic swelling in the lungs and narrowing of the air passages, making it very difficult to breathe. Regular smokers will often get bronchitis or emphysema, and long-lasting inflammation can begin to destroy your lungs tissue. When tissue in your body is continually inflamed, it creates an ideal environment for cancer to grow.
Minimize Indoor Air Pollution
Make sure your home is a haven free from indoor pollutants. Make guests smoke outside, or ask that they not smoke on your property at all. When using paint, open your windows to ventilate the odors. This is especially important if you are using oil paints. If possible, use strong chemicals only in the garage or as far away from the house as possible. Use only sterile air filters VA when running your HVAC system or indoor fans, and make sure to replace the filters every month.
Stay Indoors When Outdoor Air Pollution Is High
Wildfires, volcanic ash, floods and tornadoes can be especially harmful to your lungs. If your outdoor air quality is poor for any reason, it is important to stay inside as much as possible. Depending on how hazardous the air quality is, going outside even for a short time can negatively impact your lung health. Repeated exposure to outdoor air pollution is very harmful to your health. Stay inside as much as possible, and only open windows and doors when necessary. When your home must be closed up in this way, do not use candles or strong chemicals unless doing so is an emergency.
Strengthen Your Lungs
Regularly exercising makes your lungs stronger, helping you get oxygen to your heart, brain and muscles faster. Even if you battle chronic respiratory infections or think you have weak lungs, you should still exercise regularly. Talk to your doctor to figure out which exercises are best for your situation, and make sure to discuss how long you should exercise.