How often do you stop and think about the very breath you are taking? If you are like most, probably not very often! As humans, we rarely think about the act of being able to breathe, unless it becomes hard to do. This is why the entire month of October is designated to Healthy Lung Month, which is an annual event.
To date, many organizations have banned together to help further engage the public and help them learn of the importance of protecting their lungs against things like mold, air pollution, general neglect, and smoking. The bottom line of the Healthy Lung Month campaign is that if humans take care of their lungs, their lungs will in turn take care of them!
Here is a brief history of the timeline and when Healthy Lung Month began.
- The 1500s: Two scientists compared lungs to canals
- Marcello Malphigi, an Italian specializing in anatomy, and Thomas Willis, an English clinician, both believed that the lungs functioned like the system of canals, compromised of membranes, air passages, and blood vessels.
- The 1600s: Early Medical Theory
- A Dutch scientist called Fabricus believed that the function of the lungs was to prepare are for the heart so it could beat.
- 1963: First human lung transplant
- The first human lung transplant was performed at the University of Mississippi, with the patient who was a convicted murderer, surviving for eighteen days after the operation.
- 1981: First Heart-Lung Transplant
- Stanford’s dr. Bruce Reitz successfully performed the first heart-lung transplant on a female patient.
- 1986: First Double-Lung Transplant
- Dr. Joel Cooper made medical history by performing the first double lung transplant.
How you can Participate in Healthy Lung Month
There are three things that Healthy Lung Month implores people to do, they are:
- Exercise. Increasing lung capacity can take time and practice. Once your have managed to find an exercise routine that works for you, you will reap the benefits of clean, functioning and healthy lungs! Begin Healthy Lung month by committing to walking or doing some form of exercise at least once per day!
- Get a check-up. To ensure that your lungs are working properly, visit your doctor for a complete physical. If you have symptoms or shortness of breath, tell your doctor about it immediately. Pretending symptoms are not happening will not make them go away.
- Clean your house. Millions of humans suffer from allergies each year. Their symptoms often vary due to the levels of allergens present, but all report feeling just miserable at times. To help ease your allergen load, be sure to regular clean your house, wash all blankets and bedding, brush your pets to help rid them of loose fur, and work on changing the cleaners you use in your house to those that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
Five Facts about Lungs on Breathing Easier
- Lungs can take in A LOT of air! During a normal day, we breath nearly twenty-five thousand times, according to the NIH.
- Animals lungs are different from human lungs. Most animals with spines are called vertebrates and they usually have not one, but two lungs.
- Humans can live with only one lung. Having one lung will not stop you from living a reasonably normal life.
- Your lungs are different sizes. Due to the placement of your heart, the right lung is often larger than the left lung.
- Your lungs float. That is right, human lungs can float on water! These are our only organ that can do this.
Why is Healthy Lung Month Important?
- October pollen. Millions of patients with lung problems struggle with allergens and pollen during the entire month of October. Raking up dry leaves and working outside in unstable, ever changing weather makes people susceptible to asthma and recurrent bronchitis. Anything that interferes with the lungs circulating oxygen through the body can cause our lungs to fail.
- Smoking has deadly consequences. If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for yourself is STOP smoking. Respiratory conditions like COPD and asthma can end up triggering lung cancer development. Smoking exacerbates the blockage of clean air to the lungs.
- Watch for warning signs of lung distress. If you are struggling with a chronic cough that will not go away, please go visit your doctor. It may be nothing, or just your standard run-of-the-mill cold, or it could be a sign of a respiratory infection or condition affecting your lungs. Other symptoms like tightness of the chest, wheezing, and ongoing shortness of breath, especially when you overexert yourself.
Healthy Lung Month Dates
These are the dates and days of the week when Healthy Lung Month begins in the future.
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