It is crucial to keep your lungs healthy because it plays a key role in keeping every organ of your body functioning properly.
Once you breathe in, healthy lungs take in oxygen and pass it along to the bloodstream, which in turn transports oxygen to cells and organs throughout your body. While as you breathe out, healthy lungs dispose off carbon dioxide.
Some of the common lung diseases are tuberculosis, COPD, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and emphysema.
Current or former smokers are at higher risk of developing lung cancer. Other factors that put your lungs at risk include exposure to allergens (including pet dander and dust mites), infections, air pollution, sawdust, secondhand smoke, workplace fumes, or other aerosolized particles.
To keep your lungs healthy, you must be able to know these key signs that indicate your lungs could be in trouble. Knowing it early will help protect your lungs from severe damages and lung diseases.
An Ongoing Cough
A chronic cough indicates that your lungs are not functioning properly. Actually, an ongoing cough that does not get better, even after taking medicine is one of the first signs of unhealthy lungs. Along with coughing, you may also have chest pain that extends down your arms or up into your shoulder.
You need to see a doctor if you suddenly start waking up with headaches or dizziness.
Some lung problems like COPD can cause you to wake up after a night’s sleep with a dull, throbbing headache. This is because you are not breathing deeply enough while sleeping and this leads to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the body. This buildup causes the brain’s blood vessels to dilate resulting in a throbbing headache.
A wheezing sound is a sign that your airways are narrowing. When air doesn’t flow out as fast as it should due to constricted airways, it results in a wheezing sound when you breathe. This could be a sign of emphysema, asthma, or lung cancer.
Swelling In The Lower Body
Once your lungs do not function properly, your circulatory system does not get its needed oxygen to be healthy and keep fluids moving through your body. This causes fluid build-up which leads to swollen feet and ankles.
Because your lungs function poorly, your heart can’t pump enough blood to supply the kidneys and liver, thereby resulting in swelling in the body because toxins and fluids are not removed from the system as they should.
Keep your legs elevated to reduce swelling.
Labored breathing or shortness of breath is another clear sign that something is wrong with your lungs. This happens when your lungs have to work harder than usual to move air in and out. Some kind of blockage in the airway can also be the reason for this.
Along with coughing is the production of mucus, which helps keep bacteria, germs, pollen, and dirt from getting stuck in the lungs. However, production of mucus is not a good sign if it is not due to a cold, or other common illness.
You may also notice changes in the color, amount, thickness, or even smell of the mucus. Something is wrong with your lungs if the mucus goes from clear to yellow or green or if it contains blood. A blood in the mucus can be a sign of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer or emphysema.
Something is wrong with your body if you are feeling fatigued or excessively tired even after getting enough sleep.
You get tired more easily when your lungs are not properly working. Plus, you do not seem to regain your strength even if you are following a healthy lifestyle.
Other bodily systems will start to suffer if your lungs failed to deliver enough oxygen to your body and all this can take a toll on your energy level.