Our lungs give us life and sometimes we often take them for granted. We rarely think about breathing until we have trouble doing so. That’s why many organizations across America joined together to dedicate every October to raising awareness of just how important our lungs can be. Each day, we breathe in many different chemicals, including oxygen, but most tend to be harmful if left neglected like mold, air pollution, and cigarette smoke. It does not matter if you’re indoors or outside, you’re still breathing.
According to the Centers for Respiratory Health, “about 10 million adults are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis each year, and about 4.7 million others have been diagnosed with emphysema”. Let’s explore some of the popular ways to avoid lung-damaging agents.
- Dusting Around: Have you ever heard of the white-glove test? Commonly found in movies, a person who wears a white glove rubs their finger across a desk or an uncommonly cleaned space to look for dust. According to a blog post through Hughesenv, “the average home in the United States collects 40 pounds of dust each year”. When people say they are allergic to dust, in most cases it’s actually dead human or animal skin. Take a few moments every week or so and dust around the house, your lungs will thank you later.
- We Love Plants: Every house can use some green friends inside to spruce up a room. Indoor plants are incredible at removing bad particles from the air. Putting plants in a room gives a whole new meaning to bringing life to something.
- Natural Fragrances: Cleaning is a good start to removing dirt and other bad air particles, but have you ever thought about what’s in the spray you’re using? Some lung-safe household products for cleaning include baking soda, salt, lemons and lemon juice, borax, and hydrogen peroxide.
- Radon: This is a type of colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that causes lung cancer. When radioactive metals, like radium, thorium, or uranium, breaks down in the Earth radon can now enter the airspace. It’s good practice to install either a radon tester or test for radon on an annual basis.
Now that you have a general idea of how to avoid lung-damaging agents, how can you protect yourself even more? Easy, exercising regularly for 30-minutes a day for four to five days per week will keep your lungs healthy and strong. Even cleaning your house counts!
If you’re a smoker, you may already know that according to Reuters, “lung cancer is the most common form of the disease in the world and 90 percent of all cases are caused by cigarette smoking. It kills 1.2 million people a year.” While most of the world’s stressors can make it difficult to quit smoking, it is the best step you can take to prevent developing lung complications. If you’re stuck on trying to quit smoking, check out this article by WebMD.
Even if your lungs show no signs of failure, a good practice is to see your primary care provider (PCP) annually for a wellness/physical exam. Your practitioner can then check for any signs of unhealthy activities and suggest ways to break those habits.
Good news, Cross Valley Health & Medicine’s Dr. Paul Saladino and Christian Plaza, FNP are accepting new patients for all of their medical programs, including wellness examinations. They offer both in-person and virtual appointments. Give our office a call at 845-561-7075 or fill out your application online by clicking here.