You take over 23,000 breaths per day. And you should count every one of them as a blessing if you are concerned about reversing lung damage. Every breath you take is important to carry oxygen to help your metabolism and other bodily functions work effectively.
If you aren’t or weren’t a smoker, an asthmatic, or someone with a lung problem that has already been diagnosed, you might not believe that you have lung damage. You might not have anything to worry about but you might also be ignoring warning signs of lung damage.
The American Lung Association says that ‘Cigarette smoke can narrow the air passages and make breathing more difficult. It causes chronic inflammation, or swelling in the lung, which can lead to chronic bronchitis. Over time cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue, and may trigger changes that grow into cancer. If you smoke, it’s never too late to benefit from quitting.’
Exposure to pollutants like ‘Secondhand smoke, outdoor air pollution, chemicals in the home and workplace, and radon’ can all lead to lung damage that you may need to work to heal and reverse. If you are concerned about home pollutants, many houseplants can help purify the air that you breathe. See the link to our article below for more information.
Outdoor pollutants like ozone, dust and particulates, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and 200 other air pollutants can really take a toll on your lungs’ health. Rather than buying personal air filtration systems and walking around in a bubble of filtered air, get smart about your local air quality. Watch your local weather for warning about high pollution days and avoid outdoor exercise on these days.
Symptoms of Lung Damage
According to the American Lung Association, these symptoms “could be the first signs of lung disease, including COPD, asthma and lung cancer.” If you have had COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Asthma, Pneumonia, or Influenza you may already have damage to your lungs.
The following symptoms of lung disease could indicate that damage is already present in your lungs or upper respiratory tract:
- Shortness of breath
- Having trouble catching your breath after a mild exertion
- Producing excess mucus
- Coughing up blood
This ONE Thing Can Help Reverse Lung Damage
Vitamin A or beta carotene can help reverse lung damage. However, this may be only true for men who are nonsmokers. In a study of the use of beta carotene and retinol supplements to reverse lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, women and smokers had an increased risk with the use of vitamin A supplements, even at a 6 year follow up.
The authors of one study say that ‘Increasing evidence suggests that beta-carotene, retinol (vitamin A), and alpha-tocopheral (vitamin E) may have important protective effects in the lung.’ Research into the mechanisms of how vitamin A help with reversing lung tissue is still ongoing.
Other Things That Can Help Reverse Lung Damage
- Quitting smoking – not only can stopping smoking stop any further damage to your lungs, but the damage to the lung is actually reversed as the lung heals itself.
- Humid air – living in a desert climate unfortunately means living in a dusty area. Particulates of dust suspend in the air for you to breathe, which can cause allergic reactions and irritations for lungs. Try a humidifier in your home to reduce the dust in the air.
- Salt air – breathing salt air is known as halotherapy or speleotherapy. If you live near the beach, you already get this benefit. At home, you can use a salt crystal lamp (read our article Here’s How Salt Lamps Are Helping People With Anxiety) or a salt water aerosol. Healthyguidance.org says that “Salt water aerosols have been found to be effective in treating cystic fibrosis and at 3% have been shown to be effective in treating infants with acute viral bronchitis.”
- Eucalyptus – That vapor-rub feeling of inhaling a big whiff of eucalyptus is refreshing and feels cleansing.
- Breathing exercises – You can strengthen your lung capacity by using breathing exercises.
- Get checked – See a medical practitioner to have them check for esophagus issues, sinus issues, or other things can impede your breathing.
- Houseplants – Read our related article 6 Houseplants That Improve Your Health about how houseplants help purify your air at home.
For you next exotic vacation, look into a visit to a salt cave, like the ones in Moldavia and Cacica, Romania. Salt caves have been used therapeutically for lung health for centuries or longer. The air of a salt cave is humid and saturated with salt. Breathing this therapeutic salt air is beneficial for lung heath and may help reverse lung damage.
A recent Wall Street Journal article says that ‘salt rooms have been popping up in cities such as New York, Orlando, Naples, Fla., Boulder, Colo., Chicago and Los Angeles. While most of us associate salt air with the beach, from a medical standpoint, the experience is designed to mimic salt caves, which have long been considered therapeutic in Eastern Europe. Salt room owners say salt can help skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and a range of respiratory ailments, including colds, asthma, allergies and bronchitis.’