Turning the tide on the burden of lung disease
Respiratory Lung disease is one of the world’s biggest health concerns. The impact remains as large today as it was at the turn of the century and is likely to remain so for several decades.
Funding and support for lung disease is often lacking as smoking if often viewed as the cause of all lung disease. However, there are many more risk factors and, recently, a global spotlight has been put on the lung health implications of both poor air quality and physical inactivity, and how addressing this can help maintain healthy lungs for life.
Poor air quality, both outdoors and in the home and workplace, is a significant risk factor for lung disease. We all have little control over ambient air quality, but learning more about the quality of air locally and its impact can help people understand how to reduce risks of exposure.
Individuals should be aware of the quality of air they are breathing by checking pollution alerts, avoiding busy streets, ensuring homes and offices are well ventilated and being aware of the early symptoms of lung disease so that these can be managed from an early stage.
There is also a growing body of evidence supporting the importance of exercise for lung health, both for the population in general, and people living with chronic lung conditions.
Regular physical activity has been shown to improve quality of life and fitness in healthy individuals and to reduce the risk of chronic conditions. There is a level of exercise or physical activity that is suitable for everyone and lack of physical activity is known to make breathlessness worse in conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
It should be noted that smoking is still a key factor and should be the first action for any person worried about ensuring their lungs remain healthy for their life time.