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Your lungs are easily harmed. Anything you breathe in can hurt them. Take time to learn what threats there are to your lungs and how to protect yourself from them.
Potential dangers to your lungs are all around you — at home, outside or at work. The American Lung Association says air pollution, secondhand smoke and chemicals used at home or at work can cause or worsen lung disease.
The biggest outdoor danger to lungs is air pollution. It can come from vehicles, power tools, burning trash, and wildfires. The American Lung Association offers 10 tips for protecting yourself and your family from unhealthy air.
Indoor dangers include fuel burning appliances, building materials, cleaners and other common household and personal care products, too much moisture, and AC and heating systems. Radon, pesticides and other outdoor pollutants that have gotten inside can also cause problems.
Take an interactive tour from the Environmental Protection Agency to learn more about specific indoor risks and how to protect yourself from them.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the U.S. People have different symptoms of lung cancer. Some have coughing, wheezing and chest pain. But most people don’t have signs until the cancer is advanced.
Smoking causes the majority of lung cancers — both in smokers and in people exposed to secondhand smoke, says the Mayo Clinic.
What Are the Risk Factors?Risk factors for lung cancer include:
Lung Cancer ScreeningScreening for lung cancer can help catch cancer earlier, when it may be more treatable. But it isn’t recommended for everyone.
Lung cancer screening can have risks. So lung cancer screening is recommended only for adults who are at high risk for developing the disease because of their smoking history and age.
If you smoke now or used to and are over 50, talk to your doctor about lung cancer screening. And check your benefit plan to see what preventive services may be covered at no cost to you.*
Find out more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many choices for better overall health are also good for your lungs. Follow these tips to protect your lungs.
Get routine health exams and preventive care. Even if you aren’t sick, a routine yearly health exam can help to prevent serious health problems. During a health exam, the doctors will listen to your lungs and breathing. And you can discuss any concerns you may have.
Exercise. Staying active is good for your total health. Exercise also helps to improve lung capacity. Breathing exercises can also boost your mood and help you relax.
Avoid exposure to pollutants. They can cause lung disease or make it worse. Lean how to avoid them.
Prevent infection. Protect yourself from respiratory and other infections:
Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your lung health.
*If you have a grandfathered plan (a plan that was in existence on or before March 23, 2010), preventive care without out-of-pocket costs may not apply to you.
Asthma Basics is a great way to learn more about a common chronic lung disease. Free at Lung.org/asthma
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