Respiratory Care Week: Tips for Keeping Your Lungs Healthy

October 23rd 2019

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, there will be about 228,150 new cases of lung cancer and around 142,670 deaths from lung cancer in the United States. With certain lifestyle changes and breathing exercises, we can continue to protect our lungs.

As each day goes by, we tend to forget the amount of toxins we breathe into our lungs, such as air pollution and cigarette smoke. 4.2 million deaths occur worldwide each year due to exposure to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, there will be about 228,150 new cases of lung cancer and around 142,670 deaths from lung cancer in the United States. With certain lifestyle changes and breathing exercises, we can continue to protect our lungs.1,2

One example of this is to avoid smoking at all costs. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with the smoke causing the air passages to narrow. In addition, minimizing your exposure to outdoor air pollution and avoiding indoor air pollutants that are damaging to your lungs can keep your lungs healthy. Bad air quality, including chemicals in the home and workplace, can worsen your chance for lung disease.2

There are also ways to remove any excess mucus from the lungs and improve breathing, such as practicing steam therapy. Inhaling water vapor can help open the airways in the lungs, causing the lungs to drain mucus for better breathing. Also, consuming anti-inflammatory foods and green tea can help reduce inflammation in the lungs.3

References

  1. Respiratory system: our avenue for gas exchange. LiveScience. https://www.livescience.com/22616-respiratory-system.html. Published August 23, 2019. Accessed October 21, 2019.
  2. Protecting your lungs: tips to keep your lungs healthy. American Lung Association website. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/protecting-your-lungs/. Published March 28, 2019. Accessed October 21, 2019.
  3. Natural ways to cleanse your lungs. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324483.php. Published February 18, 2019. Accessed October 21, 2019.

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