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BREATHE DEEP

BREATHE DEEP by Nick Nunes In through the nose, out through the mouth. That’s the regular breathing technique promoted for yoga, meditation, exercise, and whatever else you might be doing that requires regulating your breathing. There’s been a special focus on the ability to breathe lately, obviously due to the pandemic of a virus that causes respiratory distress. Being unable

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BREATHE DEEP
Smoking isn’t the only way to develop a debilitating CRD. Air pollution, occupational chemicals and dusts, and frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood are all factors that can lead one down the path of shortness of breath and lifelong difficulty.

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Nick Nunes

In through the nose, out through the mouth. That’s the regular breathing technique promoted for yoga, meditation, exercise, and whatever else you might be doing that requires regulating your breathing. There’s been a special focus on the ability to breathe lately, obviously due to the pandemic of a virus that causes respiratory distress.

Being unable to breathe is horrifying.

Being trapped alive, buried alive, gagged, and all manner of other torturous fears all pertain to the inability to breathe freely. There’s a good reason so many fears involve the inability to breathe unconstrained—it can lead to fates worse than death.

That being said, wearing a mask to prevent the spread of a pandemic is not going to affect your oxygen levels—at all.

Whatever difficulty you may feel you are having is more than likely simple anxiety.

However difficult you may feel it is to wear a mask, imagine how much worse it would be if you actually had to strain for breath through a debilitating disease that can result in long-term side effects,

crippling your ability to breathe properly for the rest of your life.

In the midst of this pandemic, it’s important to take extra special care of your lungs. More than 330 million people around the world live with asthma. More than 3 million people die of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) every year.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) are diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung.

Some of the most common are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension. CRDs are not curable; however, various forms of treatment that help dilate major air passages and improve shortness of breath can help control symptoms and increase the quality of life for people with the disease.”

Smoking isn’t the only way to develop a debilitating CRD. Air pollution, occupational chemicals and dusts, and frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood are all factors that can lead one down the path of shortness of breath and lifelong difficulty.

The big five of respiratory diseases are COPD, asthma, acute lower respiratory tract infection, tuberculosis, and lung cancer.

WHO’s executive summary of The Global Impact of Respiratory Disease states, “Respiratory diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the world. About 65 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 3 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide. About 334 million people suffer from asthma, the most common chronic disease of childhood affecting 14% of all children globally. Pneumonia kills millions of people annually and is a leading cause of death among children under five years old. Over 10 million people develop tuberculosis (TB) and 1.4 million die from it each year, making it the most common lethal infectious disease. Lung cancer kills 1.6 million people each year and is the most deadly cancer.”

But what can be done? Well, the number one way to fight for the life of your lungs is to not smoke. Over time, cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue and may trigger changes that grow into cancer. The inflammation and swelling that is caused by the inhalation of smoke can lead to chronic bronchitis.

Taking care of what goes into your body is the best way to protect it from internal damage. Secondhand smoke, chemicals in the home and workplace, and radon are all top contenders for lung damaging don’ts.

One of the best things to come out of the pandemic is the general public’s heightened awareness of hygiene.

Preventing infections is a pretty important part of keeping your lungs in tip top condition.

According to the American Lung

Association:

A cold or other respiratory infection can sometimes become very serious.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based cleaners are a good substitute if you cannot wash.

• Avoids crowds during the cold and flu season.

• Good oral hygiene can protect you from the germs in your mouth leading to infections. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and see your dentist at least every six months.

• Get vaccinated every year against influenza. Talk to your health care provider to find out if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you.

• If you get sick, keep it to yourself!

Protect the people around you, including your loved ones, by keeping your distance. Stay home from work or school until you’re feeling better.

Diagram of lungs

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