Top 10 Facts about Your Respiratory Health - Watsons Health

Top 10 Facts about Your Respiratory Health

 

  1. The lungs are vital to your survival.

The lungs help oxygen from the air we breathe enter the red blood cells. Red blood cells then carry oxygen around the body to be used in the cells found in our body. The lungs also help the body to get rid of carbon dioxide when we breathe out.

  1. Unlike other internal organs, your lungs are routinely and directly affected by the outside environment through the air you breathe in.

Every day the delicate tissues of your lungs must defend against germs, tobacco smoke and harmful air pollutants that can damage airways and inhibit lung function. Many different kinds of particles can harm the lungs. Some are organic, meaning that they are made of materials that contain carbon and are part of living organisms (such as grain dusts, cotton dust, or animal dander). Some are inorganic, meaning that they usually come from non-living sources, such as metals or minerals (for example, asbestos).

  1. Your respiratory system body has several means of getting rid of inhaled particles.

In your airways, an accumulation of secretions (mucus) coats particles so that you can cough these up more easily. Additionally, cells lining your airways have tiny filaments called cilia that brush inhaled particles upward, out of your lungs. In the small air sacs of your lungs (alveoli), special scavenger cells (macrophages) engulf most particles and render them harmless.

  1. Sometimes we take our lungs for granted. We need to prioritize our respiratory health.

Although your body has a natural defense system designed to protect your lungs, you need to do your part to keep your lungs healthy and reduce your risk of lung disease.

  1. Don’t smoke.

Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarette smoke can narrow the air passages and make breathing more difficult. It causes chronic inflammation, or swelling in the lung, which can lead to chronic bronchitis. Over time cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue, and may trigger changes that grow into cancer. If you smoke, it’s never too late to benefit from quitting.

  1. Avoid exposure to pollutants that can damage your lungs.

Second-hand smoke, outdoor air pollution, and chemicals in the home and workplace all can cause or worsen lung disease. Make your home and car smoke-free. Avoid exercising outdoors on days with poor air quality index. Talk to your doctor if you are worried that something in your home, school or work may be making you sick.

  1. Prevent infection.

A cold or other respiratory infection can sometimes become very serious. There are several things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based cleaners are a good substitute if you cannot wash.
  • Avoid crowds during the cold and flu season.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily and see your dentist at least every six months.
  • Get vaccinated every year against influenza. Talk to your doctor to find out if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you.
  • If you get sick, protect the people around you, including your loved ones, by keeping your distance. Stay home and don’t report for work or school until you’re feeling better.
  1. Get regular health check-ups.

Regular check-ups help prevent diseases, even when you are feeling well. Many diseases, including lung disease, go undetected until these become serious.

  1. Exercise regularly.

Aerobic exercise helps improve your lung capacity and general health.

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Good nutrition is important to help the body resist infection.

 

-Medical Observer

 

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