What do our lungs do?

Their job is to provide fresh air full of oxygen to you, to remove carbon dioxide from your blood and breathe it out. When we breathe in, air goes from the nose or mouth to the windpipe. From here there are tubes in the lungs that branch out distally and reach the area of the lung known as alveoli. Here the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place and air with carbon dioxide is expelled out.

What is the first step?

Avoid smoking completely. This includes cigarettes, bee dies, cigars, vaping, and passive smoking. Inhaled smoke can severely harm the lung tissue, causing irreversible damage. This can lead to chronic obstructive lung diseases and lung cancers. Smoking for long can increase your risk of heart attacks as well. Lung cancers can occur in non-smokers as well.

What about vaccination?

No doubt, the vast majority of our population has been vaccinated against coronavirus, but we have not been vaccinated against influenza virus and pneumococcal infections. Those above 60 years should certainly take those vaccines. Individuals with asthma, COPD, Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic liver and kidney disorders should certainly take this vaccination.

What about wearing a mask?

Many women tend to cough in the kitchen. This is because of the pollution in the air in that environment. Many start coughing whilst cleaning or dusting the rooms. This may be associated with sneezing and coughing and at times breathlessness. The best way is to wear a mask and have adequate ventilation in these areas.

Can acid reflux cause chronic cough?

In fact, this is a common cause of cough in many, and Along with your heart, your lungs are amongst your most vital organs. It is wise to take proactive steps to keep them healthy. Every time you breathe, your lungs work hard to keep you alive by providing you with oxygen. As long as they are healthy, you are not even aware that they are functioning. They are functioning effortlessly throughout the day and night. Goes undiagnosed for long periods. Having heavy meals at night, going to bed immediately after dinner and obesity are some predisposing factors. A burning sensation in the throat, bitter taste in the mouth, watering of the mouth, and frequent belching are a few common symptoms.

What about exercises?

Regular exercises like walking, deep breathing, and yoga are certainly important to keep your lungs healthy. These exercises help you to have a relaxed mind and at the same time help you to make the muscles that aid in respiration healthy and more effective.

What are the main symptoms that should make you think of lung diseases?

Chronic cough with mucus-like sputum, fever and breathlessness, and pain in the chest while breathing are significant symptoms. Low to moderate fever, blood in sputum, and weight loss are other significant symptoms. Chronic cough and breathlessness should not be neglected. Sudden breathing difficulty with chest pain needs urgent medical attention. Particularly in smokers, chest pain, weight loss, and blood in sputum may indicate lung cancer. Shortness of breath and wheezing may indicate asthma.

What are the investigations required to assess lung health?

If you have no respiratory symptoms, then you may just require an annual clinical examination by your doctor. However, a complete blood count and X-ray of the chest are required. Lung function tests, sputum examination, CT scan of the chest, and bronchoscopy are required in selected cases. Leading an active life with exercises, keeping your weight in check, detection, and treatment of allergic symptoms, vaccination as per guidelines, avoiding smoking vaping, or hookahs completely, and annual check-ups would help you to keep your lungs healthy.

Categories : Health

Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.

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