Problems with respiratory health are a major cause of disability and death all over the world. The lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system so keeping the lungs healthy is an integral part of a person’s overall wellness. Several factors can affect the health of our lungs, such as lifestyle choices and environmental factors.
First, let’s take a quick look at the most common ways lungs can be damaged.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung damage. It damages the cells that line the lungs, making the lungs weaker and more susceptible to infections. The smoke is filled with cancer-causing chemicals that can immediately affect the lungs once inhaled. The smoke does not only affect the smoker’s lungs but also non-smoking bystanders’ lungs can be damaged.
Asbestos, radon, dust, and air pollution are just some of the environmental factors that can damage the lungs. Prolonged exposure to dust and other allergens such as pet dander and molds can weaken and harm the lungs.
How to Heal Damage to Your Lungs
The good news is that the lungs have the ability to repair much damage on their own if we help them and are proactive. To do that, we have to be willing to make the necessary habit changes. Here are some of the ways we can heal damaged lungs.
- Quit Smoking
This seems to be pretty straightforward, but it can be a difficult one for those who have been smoking for years. However, the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the effort required to do so. Do you know that you can begin to repair the damage in your lungs caused by smoking in as little as a few hours? Scientists believe that the lungs have the capacity to heal the damage on their own, as long as the person quits smoking.
- Steam Therapy
Inhaling the water vapor from steam can help loosen the mucus in the lungs’ airways. It also provides rapid relief to people experiencing difficulty in breathing by opening up the airways and breaking up the mucus that fills the lungs.
- Mucus Drain
Similar to steam therapy, mucus draining aims to release mucus from the lungs but through different postural techniques. Mucus draining can be done while lying on your back, on your side, or on your stomach and by practicing a breathing exercise called 1:2 breathing, wherein exhaling takes twice as much time as inhaling. It is believed that practicing postural mucus draining for a few minutes every day can improve lung function and prevent lung infections.
- Exercise and Diet
It is no secret that exercising regularly is good for anyone’s health. Through exercise, the body increases its breathing rate, which results in having a greater oxygen supply. It also strengthens the lungs and improves circulation by getting rid of excess carbon dioxide in the body. Consuming healthy food is another way to heal damaged lungs. Eating foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties such as turmeric, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, walnuts, and beans can help reduce the inflammation of the airways in the lungs and can aid in proper breathing. Green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, may not only reduce inflammation but can also help protect lung tissue from inhaled irritants.
Lung damage may sound as if the consequences are out of your control, but there are ways to help your lungs heal. Change in lifestyle and mindset can be beneficial, not just to your lungs but to your overall wellness. Looking into natural ways to heal your lungs can also help, as these are nature’s way of helping you heal your body. Not only do you achieve a healthier respiratory system, but you also get to experience renewed physical and mental health.