Updated on October 13, 2023
Our lungs are organs of the body that are constantly working day and night. We often take them for granted and do not pay much heed to their health and only notice them when we have difficulties breathing. October is celebrated as the National Healthy Lung Month to shed some light on one of our body’s most important organs. It is recognized by the American Lung Association and many different organizations such as Revival Research Institute take part in promoting lung-healthy activities on an individual and collective basis.
Nearly 16 million people in the United States are thought to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) while asthma affects around 27 million people in the United States. These data highlight the significance of educating people about the value of healthy practices in order to prevent lung illnesses.
History of National Healthy Lung Month
Lung health has been a cause of concern not just today but throughout human history. Illnesses such as tuberculosis (TB) and influenza (flu) have caused havoc for quite some time in modern history. In fact, it was tuberculosis that resulted in the formation of the American Lung Association back in 1904.
In recent history, anti-smoking movements have also joined hands with this cause and have helped establish cigarette package warnings from 1966 onwards. This revolutionary step has enabled people to perceive smoking as a cause of lung cancer. Each year 150,000 people pass away due to lung-related illnesses, which underscores the need to spread even more public awareness.
What does Lung Disease feel like?
There are multiple common lung diseases like:
- Lung cancer
- Lung infection (or pneumonia)
Lung disease can affect anyone, but certain demographics are more susceptible: children, older people, and people with preexisting conditions such as asthma or COPD.
We shall now discuss some of the warning signs this National Healthy Lung Month. If anyone suffers from these symptoms, it is best to book an appointment with a doctor because identifying early warning signs may help. People can seek treatment before the disease progresses to severe or even life-threatening levels.
A cough that lasts eight weeks or longer is a chronic cough. If any cough becomes chronic, something is likely to be wrong with your respiratory system and it is worth getting a medical professional to evaluate your health condition.
Chronic mucus production
Mucus, or phlegm, is only part of our body’s natural defense mechanism that protects us against infections or irritants. If the mucus production lasts more than a month or longer, it could mean lung disease.
Coughing up blood
If you see blood in your cough, it could mean anything from lung infection to lung cancer. There could be an infection present in your upper respiratory tract or deep inside your lungs. Either way, it is a sign of serious lung health issues.
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath can be a normal occurrence if you do physical activity that causes exertion, but it should go away after a while. If it doesn’t, this means there could be a need for evaluations and a warning sign. This National Healthy Lung Month we aim to impart knowledge to people regarding shortness of breath.
Learn more about Asthma Clinical trials.
Wheezing or noisy breathing is a sign of something blocking your airway. It means that your airway could be too narrow to let air pass freely and this needs proper evaluation.
Chronic chest pain
Chest pain could mean a lot of things from lung issues to cardiac abnormalities like angina or heart attack. But a chest pain that has no reason and persists for several months or years can indicate lung-related issues and it is a warning sign. This National Health Lung Month we advise our readers that seeking out proper medical attention should not be delayed.
How to Observe National Healthy Lung Month
Giving up smoking
Leaving tobacco smoking is one of the best things one could do for their lungs and overall health in general. Although difficult to accomplish, it can be a rewarding feat in terms of improvement in one’s health status and outlook. Efforts towards smoking cessation pay off with an improvement in breathing capacity and quality. You may be able to climb stairs with more ease, play sports better, enjoy the outdoors, and spend quality time with your family. Most importantly, your body (and lungs) will thank you.
Getting a check-up
The best way to know how well your lungs are doing is to get checked for it by going to the doctor’s office on National Healthy Lung Month. One could discuss their symptoms like shortness of breath and any other symptoms they feel. It is important to be honest and transparent with the healthcare staff as intentional concealing of symptoms only exacerbates the condition. Pretending that symptoms don’t exist won’t make them go away. With a good action plan for improving lung health, you’ll breathe better, this National Healthy Lung Month.
Cleaning your house
A lot of health issues, particularly asthma, can be exacerbated due to allergens especially dust and animal dander. One should be more conscious about their household to improve their lung health. This could mean:
- Regular dusting of your house
- Washing your blankets and rugs
- Brushing household pets for excess hair they shed
- Using gentle and non-toxic household cleaners
These may cost more initially but in the longer run you will be doing good for your well-being and that’s what we want to emphasize on National Healthy Lung Month.
Deteriorating lung health should be a matter of concern because lung-related diseases cause a lot of casualties each year. National Healthy Lung Month is one such opportunity where we highlight the importance of better respiratory health. It aims to spread awareness of symptoms that could impact respiratory health and suggest steps that one could take to effectively reduce health concerns.
Revival Research Institute is a clinical research institute with locations across multiple US states like Michigan, Texas, and Arizona where it is playing its part in potentially improving community outcomes for lung-related issues. We carry out multiple clinical trials in the area of pulmonology including our asthma and COPD clinical trials which are two of the most common lung conditions in the United States.