Celebrating National Lung Health Day
Oct. 27, 2016
October has been designated Healthy Lung Month, a month set aside for health care awareness for lungs. This week â the week of Oct. 23-29 â is Respiratory Care Week. And, yesterday was National Lung Health Day, a commemorative day where people are encouraged to be especially aware of their lung health and personal habits or environmental exposures that might affect lung health, either positively or negatively. Itâs a day of significance, especially, for Concordeâs Respiratory Therapy students, whose chosen area of study and career involves them directly with working with the lung health of patients. Greater health care awareness of lung health is a way of life for them and will be throughout their careers.
Concorde campuses always stressing health care awarenessMany of Concordeâs 14 campuses that have a Respiratory Therapy program will have activities commemorating the day and to learn more about lung health care awareness. Students at Concorde Career Institute â Miramar wonât be doing anything specific today because of an ongoing accreditation site visit for the RT program. Still, Program Director Arleen Avariano, BA, RRT, said the day commemorates ideas and thoughts she always stresses to students in her program. âWhat (today) means to me is more public awareness regarding things like asthma, COPD (emphysema/chronic bronchitis), smoking cessation, premature babies and cardiovascular diseases to include myocardial infarction, stroke and vascular health,â Avariano said.
Health care awareness - the factsLung disease affects a staggering number of Americans. According to the Lung Institute (LI), about 10 million adults are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis each year, and about 4.7 million others have been diagnosed with emphysema. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the diseases that lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). About 25 million live with asthma as well. Therefore, itâs especially important that we raise health care awareness about lung and breathing issues this month, week and day.
Lung-proofing your homeThe idea that harmful air pollutants exist only outdoors is false. In fact, some pollutants that can be found in homes are more harmful than those commonly found outdoors. Some of the more common lung irritants found indoors include lead, formaldehyde, radon, cleaning agent vapors and fire-retardants. Natural pollutants such as pet dander, dust mites and mold also can find their way into a home. But steps can be taken to decrease these irritants and lung-proof your home. A couple of common-sense steps you can take, according to the Lung Institute, are:
- Go natural â Fragrances in cleaning products, laundry detergents and air fresheners can all damage the lungs. Opt for fragrance-free whenever possible.
- Test for radon â Make sure your home has a radon detector. This colorless, odorless gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today.