Our lungs are precious, and the most important part of our respiratory system. These organs are responsible for absorbing and distributing all the oxygen that our body needs in order to function normally. The lungs also act as a natural filter for dust, smoke, pollutants, and allergens that we unconsciously inhale every day. Imagine human life without the lungs. We would be vulnerable to all forms of respiratory diseases, and our other organs and body parts won't be able to function normally. It is our responsibility then to take care of our lungs as we do take care of every part of our body and every important aspect of our lives. Consider these tips as a guide for how to protect your own respiratory system.
- Do not smoke! If you are a smoker, quit now - especially if you are a chain smoker. Smoking is the number one cause of respiratory diseases like lung cancer, which claims thousands of lives every year. In recent years, lung cancer has been the leading cause of death by cancer and has even surpassed a number of deaths caused by breast cancer. Aside from lung cancer, smoking is also the cause of esophageal cancer and cancers of the bladder, pharynx, larynx, and oral cavity. Carcinogens in cigarettes and tobaccos target growth cells and cause them to grow abnormally and rapidly. If you do value your lungs and your life, better not risk acquiring any of these diseases and don't even think of trying smoking.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. One irony in life is that a huge population of secondhand smokers (non-smokers who inhale smoke from cigarettes and industrial sources) die from lung cancer. It's not enough being a non-smoker. You should also avoid inhaling too much secondhand smoke. Stay clear from smoky areas. If in work you deal with strong fumes and chemical vapors, always wear protective gear and follow safety measures. Ban smoking in your own home, at work, or in your car. Promote and encourage others the advantages of a non-smoking environment. A concerted effort goes a long way.
- Avoid exposure to air pollution. Air pollution triggers all sorts of respiratory problems. Cover your nose or use a protective mask when you go outside, particularly if you are allergic or have asthma.
- Do not contribute to air pollution. Remove environmental and health hazards. Make sure that your own vehicle does not belch out black, dirty smoke. If it does, have it checked out at an auto shop and do what's necessary. Avoid open air burning. At home, go green and do not use aerosol sprays that contain chemicals harmful both to the human respiratory system and the environment.
- Maintain clean, dust-free surroundings. Frequent exposure to dust and mites can weaken your lungs and make you a candidate for asthma and allergic rhinitis. Make sure that your home and your surroundings are always clean, well-ventilated, and dust-free. Regularly schedule maintenance for air conditioners. When you do the cleaning yourself, wear a protective mask - especially when cleaning vents, fans, and areas or things with lots of accumulated dust, dirt, and mold.
- Get regular exercise. You don't need to do complicated exercises. Aerobics, simple breathing exercises, and even taking regular walks would strengthen your lungs and do wonders for your overall health.
- Do respiratory therapy. For those with already occurring respiratory problems, you are more likely prone to respiratory failure, so turn to professional respiratory care. Respiratory therapists always consult with doctors and health staff to provide patients with the best and most suitable health care plans for them.
- Get extra medication and a healthy diet. Consult your doctor or nutritionist on what kind of diet and supplements would be best for you. Multivitamins are an affordable alternative that can help strengthen your immune system, making you less prone to respiratory problems. In extreme cases, some people with respiratory problems resort to medication prescribed by their doctor when some respiratory system maintenance measures aren't enough.