Ways to Check if Your Lungs are Functioning Healthily

6 minutes

Ways to Check if Your Lungs are Functioning Healthily

Vivoo Editor

The lungs are situated on both sides of the human chest. They are above the collarbone (clavicle) at the top of the chest and down to about the sixth rib on the front. The lungs end at the tenth rib in the back of the chest. The pleura, or protective linings surrounding the lungs, extends to the twelfth rib. The lungs fill the rib cage from front to back, but the heart, which is located in the middle, separates them.

The mediastinum separates the lungs. The heart and several lymph nodes are all located in this region. The muscular diaphragm separates the abdominal cavity from the lungs, protected by a pleura membrane.

Air is drawn into the lungs (the bronchi) and the windpipe (the trachea) with each inhale, filling hundreds of small air sacs (alveoli) at the ends of the bronchi. The Alveoli's thin membranes allow oxygen to enter the bloodstream. The oxygen is taken up by the red blood cells, who then provide it to the organs and tissues of the body. The blood cells take up carbon dioxide, a byproduct of metabolism, as they release oxygen. After that, the carbon dioxide is returned to the lungs and exhaled into the alveoli. Carbon dioxide is released from the bronchi through the trachea with each exhalation.

The impotartance of our lungs

The respiratory system's main organ, the lungs, aid in supplying the body with an ongoing supply of oxygen. Your body's cells require oxygen to survive. The respiratory system's primary function is to introduce fresh air into your body while expelling waste gasses.

Your bloodstream carries oxygen throughout your body once it leaves the lungs. Every cell in your body exchanges oxygen for carbon dioxide. Your bloodstream then carries this waste gas to your lungs, where it is discharged after having been removed from the bloodstream. Gas exchange is a crucial activity carried out spontaneously by the respiratory system and lungs.

When we exhale, the lungs assist the body in getting rid of CO2 gas. The lungs also perform a variety of other tasks, such as:

  • By altering the body's CO2 levels, one can change the pH of blood (whether it is more acidic or alkaline).
  • Removing any little gas bubbles that might be present in the bloodstream.

Converting the blood's angiotensin I to angiotensin II molecule. These substances have a crucial role in blood pressure regulation.

What is the purpose of a lung examination?

Lung tests are used to assess how well your lungs operate. They control how much air enters and leaves your lungs, how much air is transferred to your blood, and how effectively your lungs function while you're exercising. The most basic test is spirometry. This test establishes how much air the lungs can hold. In addition, the exam evaluates a person's capacity to obstructively evacuate air from their lungs.

Spirometry is used to look for diseases that influence lung volume. It is also used to check for respiratory diseases that affect the airways, such as asthma.

Another important lung test is lung volume testing. It measures the air volume in the lungs, including the air still present after a typical breath, and is more accurate than spirometry. Testing for diffusing capacity also determines how easily oxygen enters the bloodstream. 

Exercise testing helps to determine what causes dyspnea. There are additional tests to find out if asthma is present when the results of the conventional breathing test are predicted.

Can you check if your lungs are working properly at home?

You can achieve it using a tool known as a peak flow meter. A peak flow meter is used in a home lung test to track and assess any daily breathing issues you might experience. You can monitor your breathing health and respiratory issues by frequently recording the data from a peak flow meter that measures your expiratory flow. To help you better monitor your health, some doctors advise home monitoring as well. To determine the maximum airflow rate you can produce, hold it in your palm and blow into it as forcefully as possible.

A peak flow meter is a portable instrument that calculates your peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), or the rate at which your lungs forcefully exhale air after you have taken a full breath. It can aid in asthma management. It can inform you and your healthcare professional about how wide open your lungs' airways are. Before you wheeze, the PFM can spot minute alterations in the big airways. You can detect the beginning of your peak flow decline by using a PFM daily.

The peak flows represent the width of the airways in your lungs. The peak flow could start to diminish even before you start to feel ill. This drop alerts you to the possibility of an asthmatic flare-up. Measuring your peak flow can help you identify what "triggered" the drop in blood pressure, determine which medications to add or remove, and identify when you might require emergency care.

Why the lungs don't function at their best?

Breathing can be made more difficult by lung or respiratory conditions, such as:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Mold (fungus)
  • Polluted air
  • Chemicals
  • Cigarette, tobacco, or shisha smoke
  • Allergies

What does the lung test outcome mean?

After the test, you can return to your usual daily routine. Normal values are determined based on factors such as age, height, and gender. If a value is found to be abnormal, it may indicate a problem with the lungs. However, in some cases, a patient with normal lungs may show an abnormal result in a breathing test. You should consult your doctor about what your test results mean.

How to maintain healthy lungs in the body?

By following a few simple habits and making conscious lifestyle choices, it is possible to keep your lungs in optimal condition and maintain your overall respiratory health. These are:

Quit Smoking 

Lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, are primarily brought on by cigarette smoking. In addition, it results in persistent lung edema or inflammation, which can cause chronic bronchitis.

Drink Plenty of Water

A thin layer of mucus lines your lungs. This lining stays thin when you drink enough water throughout the day, improving your lungs' function. If you have COPD, staying hydrated is essential since it makes it simpler to cough up the pulmonary mucus, which can be uncomfortable and cause breathing issues. It is recommended that athletes take sports drinks for hydration. A dehydration test can be conducted to know much water your body needs.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is the most important thing we can do for the health of our lungs, exercises for digestion also help the lungs. Energizing our muscles requires more oxygen, so our bodies need more oxygen. As a result, our lungs work harder to provide that oxygen while generating more carbon dioxide.

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