World Lung Day, initiated by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) falls on September 25. FIRS coordinated with WHO last year to celebrate the first World Lung Day and this year they have the aim to work towards the betterment of respiratory health and air quality globally. Speaking about air pollution, it is not the outdoor air, indoor air is also affecting your lungs. Thousands of people suffer from chronic lung diseases like asthma, COPD, etc. only because they breathe unhealthy air. This is the reason why World Lung Day is observed as a reminder to take some initiatives that will help people breathe safely.
How does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Lung Health?
There are many factors that can affect our lungs and it is not just restricted to outdoor air pollution. Many people are not aware of the fact that indoor air pollution is more harmful than outdoor pollution. Indoor air quality can be up to 10 times worse compared to outdoor air. As most of us spend our time indoors, it is very important to ensure that every breath we take should be healthy and pollution-free. Breathing healthy air can improve our lung health and at the same time, it can also prevent lung diseases. This is the reason why you need to take precautions to remove indoor air pollutants and breathe safely.
There are several reasons that can cause indoor air pollution and some of these are mentioned below. Along with the causes, the effects of indoor air pollution are also stated.
- Dust: Triggers respiratory illness
- Household Cleaning Products: Inhaling the harmful VOCs that come out of house cleaning products can cause sick building disorders such as skin & throat irritation and even headache.
- Synthetic Fragrances: Perfumes and deodorizers have been found to be toxic and can cause skin irritation, allergic reaction and etc.
- Pet Dander: Hair and dried skin of your pets can cause respiratory irritants
- Smoke: It is not just cigarette smoke, but also the smoke that comes from fireplaces and stoves can cause asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases.
No doubt indoor air is more harmful than outdoor but, fortunately, you can manage it easily. All you need to do is to follow a few tips, which will help you keep air pollution at bay.
How to Prevent and Care Your Lungs
Preventing and caring for your lungs is essential for maintaining good lung health and overall well-being. There are several steps you can take to prevent lung problems and care for your lungs:
- Tobacco should be avoided
- Vaccination protects them
- Exercise regularly
- Clean air to breathe
1. Tobacco should be avoided
Tobacco is a major public health concern and should be avoided due to the numerous health risks associated with its use. The use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco, is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use is responsible for the deaths of over 8 million people each year.
Long-term use of tobacco products can lead to a variety of serious health problems, including lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of lung cancer, responsible for about 85% of all lung cancer deaths. Additionally, smoking increases the risk of other types of cancer, including throat, mouth, and bladder cancer.
2. Vaccination protects them
Vaccination is a critical tool for protecting individuals from lung infections and diseases. Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to produce a response against specific pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. This response helps to protect the individual from future infections and can also help to reduce the severity of symptoms if an infection occurs.
Overall, vaccination is an important and effective tool for protecting individuals from lung infections and diseases. By receiving recommended vaccines, individuals can help to reduce their risk of serious lung infections and the associated complications. It’s also important to note that vaccination not only protects the individual but also helps to prevent the spread of these diseases to others, particularly to vulnerable populations.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is important for maintaining good lung health and overall well-being. Regular physical activity can help to improve lung function, increase lung capacity, and reduce the risk of lung diseases.
One of the primary benefits of exercise for the lungs is that it helps to increase lung capacity. The lungs are responsible for providing the body with oxygen, and regular exercise can help to improve the efficiency of this process. When you exercise, your breathing rate increases, which helps to expand the lungs and increase the amount of oxygen that is taken in. This, in turn, can help to improve overall lung function and capacity.
Clean Air to Breathe
Some of the simple tips that you can follow to cut down your exposure to polluting air are cited below.
- Keep your surroundings clean. You can use a cyclonic vacuum cleaner to scoop up dust and debris from the surface to keep your surroundings free of allergens. Vacuum cleaners with UV disinfectant technology can also be helpful as they can kill bacteria, viruses, cysts, and dust mites present in mattresses, bed sheets, pillows, blankets, and sofas and keep
- Ventilate your indoor space to let in fresh indoor air in your room.
- Replace synthetic cleaning fragrances with natural alternatives like essential oils, beeswax and etc.
- You can use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to reduce the level of air pollutants and improve indoor air quality. An air purifier can effectively remove 99.9% of pollutants such as Particulate Matter (PM 2.5), dust, pet hair, formaldehyde, cigarette smoke, and other pollutants thereby keeping your family safe from indoor air pollution.
The Bottom Line
So, this World Lung Day 2018, let’s pledge to take the right steps to breathe healthily and stay away from diseases. In addition to following the tips mentioned above, make sure that you quit the bad habits that will affect your lungs in the long run. Help yourself and everyone else breathe easy.
To know more about indoor air pollution read our inside story.