Every October, many organizations join together for National Healthy Lung Month to educate the public about the importance of protecting our lungs against lung disease, poor air quality, smoking and vaping, mold and mildew and airborne pollutants.
Boost Oxygen is proud to do our part to help promote National Healthy Lung Month and share resources and information about the ways you can improve air quality to help support your respiratory system.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR LUNGS AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Every day the average person inhales 17,000 times, breathing in 2900 gallons of air, which contains 132 gallons of Oxygen. Breathing is a natural human reflex. The air we normally breathe contains only 21% Oxygen – the majority is 78% useless Nitrogen.
(Boost Oxygen is portable 95% Pure Oxygen – but we bet you already knew that!)
Your lungs process ALL of that Oxygen so your body can have energy.
Your lungs contain tiny air sacs called “alveoli” that diffuse Oxygen into your blood cells. After leaving the lungs, these replenished blood cells travel to your heart and throughout your body to provide Oxygen to tissues and organs. Your tissues and organs use this Oxygen for fuel to function properly. Your body also uses Oxygen to digest and metabolize the food you eat to create nutrients. Oxygen is also used by your body to replenish cells – every day your body must create 700 BILLION new cells!
Without proper Oxygen levels, your body cannot function correctly. If you become Oxygen deficient, you can experience shortness of breath, lethargy, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and more. Your immune system begins to weaken and you can get sick.
This is why your lungs are so important!
HOW YOU CAN HELP KEEP YOUR LUNGS HEALTHY
There are several ways you can help your lungs stay healthy! Since humans spend the majority of their lives indoors, improving your indoor air quality is a good first step. In addition, you can also avoid places that have poor outdoor air quality. Also, if you have medical breathing problems there are many resources available to help you improve the quality of your life and daily activities.
Improve your indoor air quality - Like the old saying goes, home is where the heart is. Indoors is also where you will likely spend the majority of your life. The average American will spend over 80% of their life indoors. When most people think about air pollution, they envision factory smokestacks, smog over a city or exhaust from a traffic jam. But indoor air quality can actually be worse than outdoor air quality.
There are several easy ways to improve indoor air quality, whether it’s your home or office. Doing these can greatly improve your comfort and general health all year round:
Change indoor air filters– air conditioning systems not only cool your home, but they also clean the air of common pollutants. Over time, these air filters fill up and must be cleaned. If not, they can’t trap pollutants and it can wear down your AC system, sometimes resulting in costly repairs. Also, clean or replace other air filters – including those in vacuum cleaners, clothes dryers and kitchen vents used for cooking. You may also want to consider hiring a professional to clean your air ducts every few years, as ducts can spread the dust that collects in them.
Keep it clean and vacuum- Vacuuming carpets and rugs at least once or twice a week with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. Also vacuum other areas where dust accumulates including walls, carpet edges and upholstered furniture. Make sure to place rugs at all the entrances of your home, as they are designed to capture dirt, dust and other pollutants that might be brought in from the outside – and clean them often! Also, regularly clean bedding sheets, drapes, ceiling fans and other items that can attract dust and allergens, especially if you have pets. Dirt and dust often collect on the top of ceiling fan blades and your fan can actually be spreading these pollutants across a room if they are not cleaned regularly.
Use air purifiers and dehumidifiers– If you have a hard time regularly cleaning your home, using an air purifier and dehumidifier can help. These devices, in particular ionic purifiers, can help capture some of the irritants that can cause respiratory problems. Using a dehumidifier in damp areas, such as a basement or a bathroom with leaky pipes and moisture can help prevent the growth of mold.
Let the fresh air inside– Even during the extreme hot and cold of any season, it’s important to open windows every so often to allow fresh air to circulate in the house. Advanced designs for new homes are starting to add a mechanical feature that brings outdoor air into the home through the HVAC system.