3 of the most common pulmonary illnesses

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Skull and bones

Curious fact: Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Out of them, 70 are known to cause cancer.

One of the most important organs we have are the lungs, however, there are also 30.8 million Americans who smoke cigarettes frequently, of whom more than 50% suffer from respiratory diseases due to this harmful and addictive habit. October is COPD Awareness Month, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is one of the most serious consequences of smoking.

Smoking: Statistics

Tobacco use is one of the biggest health hazards for people around the world with extremely high and alarming figures: globally, 8 million people die each year from smoking, 1.2 million of whom die from exposure to second-hand smoke, demonstrating that the consumption of tobacco products harms not only the direct user, but also peoplearound.

Another shocking figure tells us that, out of all tobacco users, half of them die from causes related to this harmful product, as tobacco consumption often results in different health problems.

Boy with cigarrete

Pulmonary diseases

There are many tobacco-related pulmonary diseases, among which we find the following:

– COPD: This chronic and irreversible disease is characterized by inflammation of the lungs, which obstructs air flow. It may also increase your chances of developing other diseases. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, coughing, mucus production, andwhistle-like sounds when breathing.

– Lung cancer: This type of cancer is the deadliest and may appear with a much higher incidence if you are a smoker. Symptoms include persistent and bloody coughing, shortness of breath, weight loss, and bone, head, and chest pain.

– Pulmonary emphysema: This lung health condition damages the alveoli, which are in charge ofcarrying out the breathing process, making it more difficult, also decreasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the blood. Signs may include shortness of breath, blue lips and fingernails, and lack of lucidity.

Pulmones enfermos

How to keep your lungs healthy

To avoid any of these health conditions, here’s a list of actions you can take that have been shown to have great lung health benefits:

  1. Don’t smoke: this is the most helpful tip you’ll find, as smoking has important consequences for your physical and mental health.
  2. Avoid exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution: There are substances and chemicals that could harm you in your own home, such as radon. Likewise, check the air conditions every day and carry out your activities according to them.
  3. Prevent infections: Good hygiene can save you from many diseases or infections. Therefore, wash your hands, avoid crowded spaces, get vaccinated against influenza, etc.
  4. Avoid spaces where you are surrounded by tobacco smoke, such as nightclubs, bars, parties.
  5. Exercise: Exercising regularly has proven to strengthen your lungs and increase your lung capacity.
  6. Regular checkups: Have checkups at least once a year, as many lung diseases can be “silent” in their early stages and start showing symptoms when they are very advanced and critical.

Real story

Sarah is an English woman, who had a very busy life working on TV and radio. Working in Qatar, she discovered she had COPD, and her first reaction was to think she had little time left. She returned to the UK and found out after researching that, along with her treatment, something that could help her strengthen, was exercise. She began physical activity in a gymnasium, where she managed to strengthen her body. Also, when exercising, the lungs work harder, strengthening and improving lung capacity. Similarly, exercise strengthens neck and chest muscles that help carry out the breathing process. All these factors have helped her cope with COPD. Listen to her testimony here:


Pulmones ejercitandose

Health insurance


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It is important to remember that if we want to enjoy good overall health, all our organs must be healthy, including our lungs, which, today, face many threats, including fumes and environmental factors. However, you can thank them for everything they do for you by helping them stay strong with small habits: it’s a win-win situation.

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