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The Lung Story Health Function and Diseases


Breathe! Take a deep breath in and out. Now do it again. Keep repeating it because you’ll need it to survive. Your body needs a continuous supply of oxygen to continue to function properly. Short breaths or shallow breathing causes carbon dioxide to accumulate inside your body, which makes you want to yawn. So the next time you’re sitting on your desk working through the day, remember to take deep breaths every now and then. The Respiratory System A breath taken in ensures that the air flows through our mouth or our nose, goes down our throat, making its way through the voice box, right to the windpipe (trachea). From here, the collected air travels to the left and the right bronchial tubes, which are two large airways that branch out to smaller airways known as bronchioles. This airway is wrapped with muscles whose movement is involuntary, staying there with an unknown purpose. As long as you can breathe, though, why worry, right? The air reaches the alveoli (the air sacs), from where oxygen is carried into the bloodstream keeping you healthy. Each year, we take about 6 million breaths, which affect the health of our bodies. If you were to ask the doctors at the best hospital in Gujarat about the basic details about lungs, they would tell you that the bundle of tissues forming lungs sit right behind the ribcage, in the chest cavity. When you look at the image of the lungs, you’ll see that they are pointed at their apex and resemble a conical shape (roughly so). At the base, you’ll find them to be rather more flat as they meet the diaphragm. The Lung Size The pair of lungs that sit in your body are not of the same size. The left lung has a notch at the border where it lays next to the heart. The notch or recess is called the cardiac notch. The right lung, on the other hand, is smaller so that it can create space for the liver that sits right below it. A healthy pair of lungs have the capacity to hold 6 litres of air. There’s a difference between the size of a woman’s and a man’s lungs as well. A man can hold more air than a woman, i.e. in a resting state, a man can hold 750 cubic centimetres of air in his lungs, while a woman can hold only around 285cc of air say experts at hospitals in Vadodara. The Functioning of the Lungs For us to be able to breathe, we need the muscle that lays beneath the lungs, known as the diaphragm. Along with that, we also need the help of the muscles in the abdomen, the intercostal muscles (found between the ribs), and at times the muscles of the neck. It can be said that whatever power the lungs require to continue breathing is received from the diaphragm. The contraction in the muscles means it moves downwards, increasing the space available in the chest cavity. This gives space to the lungs to expand and take in air. Going back into a relaxed position, the space in the chest cavity and lungs reduces, increasing the pressure inside, making the air release from the lungs into the atmosphere. Doctors at the best hospital in Gujarat would presume that their patients understand that taking in air means to take in oxygen and breathing it out would mean to release carbon dioxide. If not, the one’s at Pranayam Lung & Heart Institute are always ready to help. The Diseases that Affect the Lungs There isn’t one reason why people face lung diseases. After the age of 35, the condition of lungs starts depleting by itself, and the only way to reduce the speed is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ranging from avoidable bad habits and genetics to an unhealthy diet, any lung-related condition could spring up on people. And then there’s the question of what part of the respiratory system is affected by the disease, i.e. it could be the bronchi, alveoli, or the upper respiratory tract that is/are under attack. Experts at hospitals in Vadodara suggest that there are a few common diseases that sneak up on patients. Let’s review them. Inflammatory Lung Diseases

  1. Asthma: Reactive airway disease (before diagnosis) affects the air passageways. Lungs become narrow and inflamed, causing the person difficulty in breathing. There is no cure for the disease, but it can be controlled with the help of expert doctors.

  2. Cystic Fibrosis: The hereditary disease shows its effects on the digestive system (yes it does sound out of place) and the lungs. Here, the body produces a lot of sticky and thick mucus that tends to clog up the lungs and obstruct the route reaching the pancreas. People diagnosed with CF are known to have shorter lifespans.

  3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Generally caused by smoking tobacco, on a regular basis for a long time, COPD restricts a person’s breathing. The lungs begin to degenerate with the onset of the disease and has more mucus. There are two diseases included in COPD known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis that only the best hospital in Gujarat can help with treating, like Pranayam Lung & Heart Institute.

Restrictive Lung Diseases There are a couple of reasons as to why the airway in the lungs can be restricted, including, but not limited to:

  • Issues with the chest walls

  • Stiff lungs

  • Trouble with the breathing muscles

  • Obesity

  • Curving of the spine

Breathing becomes harder with each day, as the problem persists. Tumours

There are two types of tumours that can show up in scans taken for the lungs:

  • Benign: Although very few people suffer disease due to a benign tumour, it can create compression in the tissue surrounding it. This is mostly seen in hamartoma.

  • Malignant: Also known to be a lump of cancerous cells, malignant tumours can easily spread throughout the body. With smoking being the leading cause of such tumours, they are known to be fatal for both men and women.

Respiratory Tract Infection There are two types of infections identified by doctors around the world and at hospitals in Vadodara, which if not controlled in time, could spread making the healing process long and suffering:

  • Upper respiratory tract infection: Most patients come in for a common cold, i.e. a viral infection, which can be cured easily in most situations. Some of the others would include pharyngitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.

  • Lower respiratory tract infection: Of all the types of infections, bacterial infection can be known to be the most common one, with various others being fungi and viruses.

Pulmonary Vascular Disease Essentially, blood vessels that carry blood through the lungs are affected in these types of diseases, which include:

  • Pulmonary Artery Hypertension

  • Pulmonary Artery Embolism

  • Pulmonary Haemorrhage

  • Pulmonary Edema

Taking Care of Your Lungs To live a longer and better life, it is a must that you take care of your lungs in the best way possible, say doctors at hospitals in Vadodara. Reading through the article, you must have realized that various diseases could take you away from your loved ones. So here are a few things that you could do now to keep your lungs healthy.

  1. Avoid Smoking: Whether you’re a regular smoker or just hang around a bunch of smokers, you must try to avoid both the activities. The smoke from cigarettes can be the cause of developing cancer and COPD. The airways get smaller, and tissues degenerate due to the intake of harmful chemicals.

There are at least 70 chemicals found in cigarette smoke out of the 7,000 present in it that damage the lungs.

  1. Exercise: To improve your lung capacity, you could try doing certain aerobic exercises. Physical activity will have an impact on your overall health, increasing blood circulation and making you feel energetic.

  2. Infection Prevention: There are a few rules that you must follow to stay away from any sort of infection, including washing your hands, visiting doctors regularly, staying away from super crowded places during flu season.

  3. Regular Checkups: Not being experts in the field of medicine, doctors must be visited to consult regarding any feeling of discomfort or a sign of illness. Delaying the situation will make it worse.

There’s a lot more to know about the lungs, which is why doctors spend a lot of time studying and getting to practice at the best hospital in Gujarat. For commoners, although, this knowledge should be enough to have you take care of yourself and your dear and loved ones. So breathe!

Take it easy and be smart. Pranayam Lung & Heart Institute is a multi-speciality hospital in Vadodara, Gujarat, that has been on a journey to create a healthy society for the last 4 decades. We’re an ideal module that aims at curing patients of various respiratory and cardiac diseases with the help of experts and high-end technology. Our doctors will go the extra mile to make sure that you are given the care you need. Talk to us today for more information.

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