Healthy lung month is a good time to remind yourself that not everyone
has healthy lungs.
NHM Health Focus:
"Lung disease is the number three killer in America, responsible
for one in seven deaths. Lung disease and other breathing problems are
the number one killer of babies younger than one year old. Today, more
than 35 million Americans are living with chronic lung disease such
as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis." American
The list of lung diseases is long, ranging from asthma,
(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), to SARS
Many of these conditions can be avoided, or their effects minimized
by early detection and prompt treatment.
"Each day you breathe about 25,000 times, and by the time you're 70
years old, you'll have taken at least 600 million breaths." (KidsHealth)
With each breath, the oxygen rich fresh air meets the carbon-dioxide
rich blood carried from all parts of your body. It is in the lungs that
blood cells lose carbon dioxide, a waste product, and gain oxygen. Oxygen
rich blood carries its life giving load of oxygen to your heart, your
brain, your liver, and all other parts of your body.
"A slice of normal lung looks like a pink sponge-filled with tiny
bubbles or holes. Around each bubble is a fine network of tiny blood
vessels. These bubbles, surrounded by blood vessels, give the lungs
a large surface to exchange oxygen (into the blood where it is carried
throughout the body) and carbon dioxide (out of the blood). This process
is called gas exchange. Healthy lungs do this very well." (National
Heart Lung Blood Institute)
For more about the structure and function of healthy lungs, please
see "Your Lungs and Respiratory System", "Human
Respiratory System" or one of the other links in the sidebar.
Lung disease may:
Lung disease may be caused by:
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources
related to lung health: