Healthy Lung Month - Tips to Keep Them Healthy

by GregP_WN

How to Care for Your Lungs During Healthy Lung Month

October Is Healthy Lung Month

Your lungs are a set of indispensable organs that allow you to breathe properly; just as your heart, liver, and brain work to support your body and mind, your lungs are a vital part of this system. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to accomplish normal day-to-day activities. Since October is Healthy Lung Month, there is an abundance of ways you can avoid specific lung cancers and diseases. While some of these may not be entirely preventative, due to genetics, you can take control of your health by practicing a lifestyle that protects, fortifies, and immunizes your lungs. These may be manageable changes or they may require more effort, but all endeavors will contribute to your overall health. To start, you should acquire a full understanding of what you need to prevent and then you can know how to best address these potential threats.

How to Keep Healthy Lungs

Diseases and Cancers that may Affect Your Lungs

Asthma
Asthma is a prevalent condition, largely affecting 26 million Americans today. There are no definite answers to complete prevention, but triggers, which particularly heighten and worsen asthma symptoms, can be regulated. This is significant because asthma is chronic and refers to the constricted airways in the lungs, that may swell in response to these triggers. During intense episodes, an asthma attack may ensue, and this is the result of severe reactions. However, in most cases, asthma involves wheezing, an ongoing cough, chest tightness and pain, and shortness of breath.

Doctors diagnose two types of asthma. The first is allergic and is caused by common environmental pollutants that are known as allergens. Mold, pollen, dust, and pet dander are typical examples of these allergens; although anything from a peanut to a shellfish allergy or an insect bite can provoke an allergic asthma attack. The second type of asthma is non-allergic. People who suffer from this form of asthma don’t necessarily have allergies to prompt asthma symptoms, but they are brought on by medications, exercise, illness, particle pollutants, fluctuations in the weather, and even stress.

Pneumonia
A less threatening, or at least not as lasting lung condition is pneumonia. This describes an infection in which the alveoli of the lungs become enlarged with fluid. Swelling leads to difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest pain, similar symptoms that occur with asthma. Although pneumonia may be mild or severe, this illness is caused by either bacteria, a virus, fungi, or irritants that you may inhale.

5 Tips For Healthy Lungs

Pneumonia also differs from asthma because can imitate the flu. The patient can experience fever, mucus, chills, headaches, and fatigue. Unfortunately, having the flu or cold can make you predisposed to contracting pneumonia. Healthy Lung Month becomes even more relative because fall and winter are prime seasons for catching any of these illnesses.

Lung Cancer
Nearly one in sixteen people are diagnosed with lung cancer and along with this, not everyone who has it previously smoked. Lung cancer is divided into two types--small cell and non-small cell. With the latter, tumors form in the lung tissues. The initial signs of non-small cell lung cancer are persistent coughing and shortness of breath. If you have this type of lung cancer, there are then three specific types determined by the way the cells look when examined under a microscope. When cancer resides in the thin cells along the interior of the lungs, it is called squamous cell carcinoma, or epidermoid carcinoma. Tumors originating in numerous types of large cells are large cell carcinoma. Finally, adenocarcinoma affects cells that line the alveoli and induce mucus.

The other half of lung cancer diagnoses refers to small cell lung cancer. Two types belong in the category of small cell lung cancer: Small cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer) and combined small cell carcinoma. Whereas with non-small cell, the type depends on how the cells develop, what areas they reach, and how they look when examined under a microscope.

Mesothelioma
Though not always specific to the lung region, mesothelioma cancer most commonly damages the lining of the lungs. The only proven cause of mesothelioma is exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a carcinogen that is easily inhaled because fibers are microscopic and cannot be removed once they stick to internal organs. Mesothelioma is rarely diagnosed early on. Once recognized, this cancer has typically reached the late-stage and there is little recovery. As with lung cancer, there are multiple types of mesothelioma. However, pleural mesothelioma makes up around 80 – 90% of all diagnoses. Other organs and places it may affect are the heart, abdomen, and in the rarest cases, the testicles.

Symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are chest pain, swelling in the abdomen, coughing, difficulty breathing and swallowing, hoarseness, low oxygen level, respiratory complications, and muscle weakness. Pleural mesothelioma may mimic other lung conditions and can be misdiagnosed for lung cancer, the flu, and bronchitis or pneumonia. These diseases and cancers are far more common, making mesothelioma an isolated and challenging cancer.

Prevention and Protection for Your Lungs

For most of these conditions, there are obvious underlying causes. Smoking, by far, seriously impacts your health. Most of these diseases and cancers are smoking-related. People over 65, those with diabetes, heart disease, who are obese, and who already have asthma are more prone to certain risk factors for pneumonia. Keeping healthy is significant because a weak immune system can make you more susceptible to infections that target your lungs. For example, a balanced and rich in nutrients diet also reduces the risk of lung cancer. Exercise is equally consequential to caring for your lungs.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Asthma patients need to stay away from environmental factors like pollution, season allergies, secondhand smoke, and other triggers. If you have asthma, you can discuss this with your doctor for a stronger comprehension and stay prepared by keeping an inhaler or other medication to combat unexpected attacks.

Carcinogens that have been linked to the development of lung cancer include arsenic, diesel exhaust, silica, and many more. As stated, asbestos is the predominant cause of mesothelioma, however, exposure can induce a number of asbestos-related conditions. If you are a homeowner or work in an industry which handles these materials, following codes and regulations is incredibly important.

Keeping your lungs in good health is something to strive for every day, not just in the month of October; however, this time of year is dedicated to bringing awareness in hopes of incorporating these practices long-term. Respiratory diseases can be alleviated with plenty of education and regard for how they affect your health and how they can escalate into even more perilous symptoms. October is an ideal time to begin implementing these lifestyle choices before winter brings seasonal infections and illnesses.

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