In a world where every breath fuels our journey through life, the health of our lungs is paramount. Our lungs, unlike many other organs, have a remarkable reserve capacity that aids us in times of stress and illness. Yet, this capacity dwindles with age and chronic lung conditions. To shed light on the barriers to maintaining healthy lungs, Republic Digital spoke with Dr Shivalingaswamy Salimath, a Consultant Pulmonologist and Chest Specialist.

3 things you need to know

  • Prioritise lung health for a vibrant and fulfilling life.
  • Quit smoking to safeguard your lung's longevity.
  • Combat pollution with masks and clean indoor air.

World Lung Day 2023: Know its significance

World Lung Day serves as a reminder to prioritise lung health. Dr Salimath emphasises its significance, stating, “Lung health is crucial for our general well-being and quality of life. It raises awareness about dangers like smoking and pollution, supports early detection, and fosters international cooperation.”

Common barriers to healthy lungs

Addressing the common barriers people face, Dr Salimath points out, “Cigarette smoking, pollution, work-related risks, low awareness, limited healthcare access, stress, poor diet, inactivity, stigma, and complacency all contribute to lung health issues. Overcoming these challenges requires personal commitment, education, and support.”

(Know the early warning signs of lung disease | Image: Shutterstock)

Overcoming obstacles

To overcome these obstacles, Dr Salimath recommends quitting smoking, reducing indoor pollutants, regular check-ups, stress reduction techniques, balanced diets, protective gear, regular exercise, education on lung health, destigmatisation, and prioritising lung health for overall well-being.

Protecting lungs in urban areas

Air pollution poses a global threat to lung health, especially in urban areas. Dr Salimath suggests, “Check air quality, limit outdoor activities on poor air quality days, use air purifiers, wear masks outdoors in high-pollution conditions, ventilate indoors, reduce driving, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and stay informed about air quality alerts.”

Quit smoking today

For those struggling to quit smoking, the doctor has some advice. “Remove triggers, focus on your reasons for quitting, stay busy, find hand-related activities, practise deep breathing, meditation and exercise, avoid triggers, limit caffeine and alcohol, seek support, consider nicotine replacement therapy, make lifestyle changes and maintain a positive attitude.”

Key advice for lung health

Dr Salimath leaves us with a fundamental piece of advice, "Prioritise a healthy lifestyle, and remember that persistence is key. Whether you're quitting smoking or making any habit changes affecting your lungs, both physical and mental dedication are essential."

In the symphony of life, our lungs play a pivotal role. World Lung Day reminds us to nurture and protect them, as for every breath we take is a gift worth cherishing.

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