Every year, millions of people die from lung disease. Poor lung health makes it harder to breathe, impairs your quality of life, and puts you at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 complications.
Your lifestyle plays a significant part in maintaining your lung health and preventing lung disease. Understanding the habits harming your lungs and making the right lifestyle changes could help you prevent lung disease and reduced lung functions.
Your smoking and vaping habit could be setting you up for lung disease. Cigarette smoking is the largest risk factor for lung cancer, resulting in 90% (9 out of 10) deaths. Similarly, recent research has associated vaping with worsened lung function, shortness of breath, wheezing, and lung conditions such as bronchiolitis, vaping-related lipoid pneumonia, and collapsed lungs.
The best time to quit smoking and vaping is now. It’s never too late to stop smoking and allow your organs to recover from the damage. Eliminating a nicotine and tobacco dependency can be challenging, so it’s recommended to discuss with your primary care physician, identify what drives your cravings, create a quit plan, and review free resources and apps that help you stop the pattern.
Rethink trips to the drive-thru for fast and fried foods. Eating foods high in saturated fat — bacon, cheese, butter, ice cream, burgers, and beef is putting your lungs at risk, in addition to harming heart health and possibly shortening your life span. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that diets high in grease and unsaturated fat are associated with inflammation and lung cancer.
Saturated fat is naturally found in dairy, cheese, and fatty meats, such as lamb, beef, and pork. If you’re not sure where to start, consider downloading a free diet monitoring app to check the amount of saturated fat you’re consuming daily. Limit meat, sugary drinks, and processed foods by focusing on a diet high in seafood, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. If you have a pre-existing condition, speak with your nutritionist or doctor before altering your diet.
Not Cleaning Your Home
A dirty living or work area could be destroying your lungs. Regularly breathing in bacteria, fungus, mold, animal fur, and dust particles can scar your lungs and trigger inflammation, making it harder to breathe.
If you have carpeting, be sure to regularly vacuum and steam it because carpets and rugs hold in toxins, dust, roach droppings, and mold. Also, dirty and clogged air filters can house mold, bacteria, and mildew, which has the risk of irritating your lungs and leading to lung disease.