The lungs keep the rest of the body operating. Without the lungs, the body has no means by which to take in oxygen; the blood may circulate the oxygen to the muscles and organs, but the blood is nothing without the lungs to oxygenate it. Keeping lungs health is both one of the most critical things one can do for their long-term health as well as one of the most difficult things to protect. There is very little that can be done on an active basis for the lungs to improve their function, but it is possible to keep one’s lungs away from the most harmful influences. The following are some of the worst things that can happen to lungs that should be avoided with extreme prejudice.
1.) Smoking. Smoking causes harm to the lungs. While different thoughts preceded some five or six decades ago, no one of credibility can deny the harmful effects of any kind of smoke on the lungs. Even secondhand smoke can cause damage in the long term. While the lungs are equipped to filter out a certain amount of particulate matter, the heavy concentration of particulates caused by smoking is more than the lungs can handle. For smokers, the nose, one of the most important filters, is ignored exclusively, amplifying the harmful effects. To keep your lungs healthy, do not smoke. If you already smoke, stop smoking.
2.) Dust. As with cigarette smoke, dust is a particulate matter that the lungs can not handle in large quantity. Various toxins can frequently cling to dust derived from topsoil, as well, including pesticides, herbicides and other harmful chemicals. While these chemicals are not designed to harm humans, they are still not by any means healthy to inhale.
3.) Excessive cold. The tissue of the lungs is not like skin; the wrong influences can dry it out in the worst of ways. Further, the cilia, the tendrils on the insides of the lungs that draw the oxygen out into the blood are prior to damage from extreme temperatures. Inhaling excessively cold air (more so than hot air) can cause permanent, irreparable damage to the lungs.
The lungs are not exactly fragile, but they are simultaneously very difficult to repair. The best way to maintain lung health over a long period of time is to simply keep the lungs from harm in the first place.