Saturday, Sep 25, 2021 08:00 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Sep 25, 2021 02:24 [IST]

Measures for a Good Lung Health

Dr. Tarun Kr. Baid

25th September, 2021 is observed as World Lungs Day. The prime motto of this day is to raise awareness regarding the health of lungs, & Smoking cessation. In the hectic schedule of today’s life we don’t put much attention in our Lung health. But in wake of Covid – 19 pandemic and increasing air pollution, now is the time to do the maximum for lungs.
Our lung has an effective natural protection system that works efficiently to keep germs and dirts away. There are things that can help a post Covid lung as well as a healthy lung to stay disease free.
Quite Smoking
Smoking is the major cause of Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease. Cigarette smoking narrows airway and makes breathing tiresome. It causes airway inflammation and increase mucus production and swelling of airway which is called chronic bronchitis. Lung tissue destruction causes permanent deterioration of exercise capability and over time breathlessness even at rest.
Remember, all forms of tobacco smoked are harmful to your lung health including bidi, cigarette, chilam, hookkah etc.
It has been seen that after quiting smoking, lung function deterioration rate reduces significantly.
Avoid indoor air pollution and minimize outdoor pollutant exposure
Ladies using old style ‘chulha’ are found to have airway disease at later age. Use of Induction or LPG instead of wood or coal for kitchen has helped a lot.
Air quality index in cities are going down day by day. It is always better if you stay in a suburban area. If not, then make a habit of wearing a pollution mask while travelling for your work. Wear a pollution mask also if you work in factories. Try to minimize the exposure to smoke, dust, pollen & pollution as much as possible. Government too need to take serious action; use of biomass fuel transportation need to get reduced & use of e-vehicles should increase.
The right mix of different nutrients in your daily diet can help your lung health. Choose to lose weight if your BMI is high (>30). Eat complex carbohydrate rich diet, limit simple carbohydrate and saturated fat and sodium intake. Your food should be rich in vitamins and minerals. Keep your body hydrated, take 4-6 small meals instead of 3 large meals.
Regular exercise for 30 minutes at least, five days a week is recommended. The exercise can be a brisk walk, cycling, gardening etc. Even cleaning of garage or active household activities can be equivalent to exercise.
Oral hygiene
 Respiratory tract infection can be sourced from oral cavity. Visit your dentist to take care of your gum health. Avoid tobacco chewing such as Gutka or Pan Masala.
Vaccination against influenza annually can help to prevent serious infection and hospitalization. Pneumococcal vaccine to be administered as per pulmonologists advice. Vaccine type & dose may vary according to patient type & comorbidities. Visit your pulmonologist to enquire regarding pneumococcal & influenza vaccine.  
General measures
Avoid crowded place if you have any respiratory condition such as asthma, COPD, allergy. Maintain distance from people having cold and flu like symptoms. Always wear a mask while stepping out. Wear proper warm clothing during winter.
Apart from this, it is very important to maintain proper hygiene on a regular basis. Even an infection which is of no significance in normal lung function individual, can cause serious exacerbation in underlying lung disease patient.
Follow your Pulmonologists Advice
If you have pre-existing lung disease, regular check – up can prevent exacerbation of symptoms. Often worsening lung function is first detected by pulmonologists on examination. The earlier you receive treatment, the better the outcome is likely to happen.
(The writer is the MD (Pulmonology), IDCCM
Consultant – Pulmonology & Critical Care
Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre, Siliguri
and can be reached at  0353 660 3000 )

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi