Lung diseases, excluding lung cancer, cause an estimated 235,000 deaths each year
New Delhi: Like other parts of the body, the lungs are an extremely important organ, which needs utmost care.
Lung diseases, excluding lung cancer, cause an estimated 235,000 deaths each year.
Lungs age faster than other parts of the body since we breathe in toxic air, pollution, and dust, involve in smoking, and other things that deteriorate the organ. With time, the lungs lose their strength, which can make it more difficult to breathe.
But by adopting certain healthy habits, you can better maintain the health of your lungs, and keep them working optimally even into your senior years.
Your body relies on your respiratory system to supply the oxygen necessary for your organs to function. And if you struggle to breathe, your body may not get enough oxygen, and without enough oxygen, other critical organs may shut down.
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Warning signs of respiratory distress
It is very important to learn to recognise the signs and symptoms of respiratory problems that may help you protect your life. If you notice any of these symptoms, you must contact your doctor immediately.
Many people suffer from chronic breathlessness which means they are short of breath and the lungs are not able to get enough oxygen to breathe.
Even though it is normal to get breathless occasionally when you exert more than normal, sudden and regular shortness can be a sign of impending danger.
According to health experts, the lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to your tissues and removing carbon dioxide, and problems with either of these processes affect your breathing. Causes of breathlessness can be due to:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Excess fluid in the lungs
- Lung collapse
- Pulmonary embolism
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Lung cancer
Change in skin colour or Cyanosis
Health experts say that people who have less oxygen in their blood have a bluish colour to their skin. The condition is known as cyanosis, and it develops along with breathlessness and other symptoms. Cyanosis is caused due to lung problems and is a slow-progressing ailment, which needs immediate attention.
Causes of cyanosis in the lungs include:
- High altitudes
- Respiratory tract infection
- Blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
- Pulmonary hypertension
Hemoptysis is the coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract. Massive hemoptysis can cause the production of more than 600 ml of blood within 24 hours, and lead to lung collapse.
Doctors say in hemoptysis, the blood arises from this bronchial circulation when there is a trauma causing damage to pulmonary arteries because of a tumour caused by lung cancer. Hemoptysis is also caused by:
- Severe pneumonia
- Severe respiratory tract infection
If you are constantly wheezing or breathing noisily, it could be an indication that your airways have become obstructed and there is a problem with the functioning of the lungs.
Doctors say it is important to report the first sign of experiencing wheezing. It is a result of inflammation and narrowing of the airway in any location from your throat to the lungs.
The most common causes of wheezing are:
If you suffer from lingering chest pain, you must contact your doctor immediately, as it can be due to:
- A blood clot in the lung is known as a pulmonary embolism, where the artery can block blood flow to lung tissue.
- Inflammation of the membrane covering the lungs, known as pleurisy in which chest pain, worsens when you inhale or cough.
- A collapsed lung when air leaks into the space between the lung and the ribs.
- High blood pressure in the lung arteries is known as pulmonary hypertension. This condition affects the arteries carrying blood to the lungs and can produce chest pain.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.