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Ask the experts: Is there anything I can do to keep my lungs healthy?

Published on:29 October 2020, 18:14pm IST
With covid-19 and air pollution rising together, it’s time to take stock of the health of your lungs. Here’s how you can achieve this feat.
Dr Agam Vora
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Breathe easy with these tips. Image courtesy: Unsplash
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Our biggest achievements as humankind have also been responsible for climatic change. After all, industrialisation, development and deforestation have resulted in rising air pollution levels. Infections like coronavirus aka covid-19 are the result of our activities.

I would not be remiss to say that this is nature’s way of making us stop our mindless activities for selfish growth. You would be thinking, well this escalated quickly. How does pollution affect us this adversely that it stops the world? Well, it does.

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The immediate effect is air pollution is on the lungs

I remember 20 years ago, my mentor once told me, “You can buy the best of nutrition, water and amenities but the air that you breathe is the same as everyone else.” Air pollution is one such thing that affects everyone, and it affects one a 100%—no one is immune to it.

It damages your lungs. Over the years asthma, bronchitis, and lung issues have become commonplace. The fact is air pollution causes 6 million premature deaths annually. Specifically for lung health, you must understand what happens to your lungs due to factors such as air pollution, smoking and respiratory issues. They cause oxidative damage on our lungs thus causing difficulty breathing.

However, it is not as dreary a picture as one would paint it to be. You can add a few simple habits to their daily life that would definitely help keep your lungs healthy.

effects of pollution
Pollution is wrecking your lungs. Even those masks are not enough. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.
What can you do to keep your lungs healthy?

Well, Simple measures such as steam inhalation, breathing exercises, walking outdoors and getting sun exposure can definitely help improve your immunity. Apart from this, nutrition and supplements help play an important role in ensuring good health.

Something as basic as multivitamins are a good addition to your everyday nutrition. Another supplement that is essential for lung health is N-Acetyl cysteine, which is an amino acid. Considering the air pollution levels we have currently, NAC (as it is popularly called) can be taken daily to help improve lung health as it helps to increase antioxidants that reverse the oxidative damage on lungs.

When one follows measures started above with respect to exercise and nutrition, they would be aiding their body to build their immunity and lung health.

Covid has taught everyone one thing—airborne diseases spare no one and an ‘its ok’ attitude is detrimental. Hence, it is important for us to all realize that we have the opportunity to make big changes, not just for today but also for the future. One of the most important changes being—taking air pollution seriously and doing our part to help curb it.

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Dr Agam Vora Dr Agam Vora

Dr Agam Vora is a lung specialist associated with Fast & Up