Chronic Respiratory Diseases: Know The Adverse Effect Of Air Pollution On Your Lungs
Exposure to poor air quality for prolonged periods can affect your lung health. Read here to know the effect of air pollution on lung health and ways to keep your lungs healthy.
Regular exercise play a significant role in maintaining lung health
- COPD can lead to cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness
- Smoking is one of the leading causes of COPD
- COPD can lead to frequent respiratory infections
Breathing is a vital function of the human body because it nourishes your body with oxygen that helps generate 90% of the body's energy. The remaining 10% comes from your food intake and water consumption. The air you breathe passes through 40,000 branching tubes called airways in the lung that end in 600 million tiny air sacs that allow oxygen to seep into the blood circulation. Several environmental factors, have led to a significant deterioration in the quality of air that you breathe. Breathing filthy air over a period of time, has started damaging the airways and air sacs in the lungs, leading to the development of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and COPD.
Children, elderly and those with underlying lung diseases are the most vulnerable. An estimated 55 million people in India suffer with COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and another 38 million people suffer with asthma. COPD is the second leading cause of death in India, yet it remains almost unknown. In a recent study, conducted among 3000 people living in the urban slums of Pune city and 3000 people living in the neighboring rural villages, less than 1% of the people had ever heard the word COPD (In Press, Nature Primary Care Respiratory Medicine Journal).
Also read: All About COPD
A significant number of people suffering from COPD in India remain undiagnosed, wrongly diagnosed, untreated or wrongly treated, because of lack of awareness, lack of healthcare infrastructure and silent healthcare policy makers.
All necessary steps should be taken to enhance lung health. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your lungs moist, eat at least a bowl of fruits everyday as they nourish the body with protective antioxidants. And most importantly, create awareness among fellow citizens about the harmful effects and sources of air pollution.
Smoking is also one of the leading causes of lung diseases. Quitting smoking will help you as well as the non-smoker around you to stay healthy. Breathing exercises also play a role in maintaining healthy lungs. Exercise daily and do not miss breathing exercises for healthy lungs.
(Dr. Sundeep Salvi MD, PhD(UK), FCCP(USA), Hon. FRCP(Lon), Director, Pulmocare Research and Education (PURE) Foundation, Pune, India)
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