For World Lung Health Day, Experts Share Best Practices For Optimal Lung Health
Taking care of one’s health requires consistency. This plays an important role in proper lung care, especially for asthma patients who need maintenance treatment to manage their condition.
Although the body has its natural defenses that protect the lungs, there are still several steps that we can take to keep it healthy and reduce the risk of disease or any complications.
Avoid exposure to pollutants or triggers that can damage the lungs: One of the biggest lung triggers is cigarette smoke, which can narrow air passages and make breathing more difficult. Smoking often results in chronic lung inflammation, and over time may destroy lung tissue or trigger changes that grow into cancer.
Besides smoking, other pollutants can damage the lungs. These include secondhand smoke, polluted air, and chemicals present in the home or workplace. It is essential to avoid exposure to these pollutants, especially for asthmatic individuals, as these can trigger their asthma.
Prevent infection through healthy habits:
Getting infections like the flu or colds can potentially develop into more serious conditions, or trigger asthma attacks. Avoiding these infections can be done by staying up-to-date with your flu vaccination, and practicing healthy habits such as washing your hands often, staying away from crowds, especially during peak seasons, keeping your mask on, and maintaining good oral hygiene. In addition, exercise is another good way to strengthen your lungs.
Get regularly checked and take the proper medication:
Frequent check-ups go a long way in preventing disease and keeping your lungs healthy. Lung disease sometimes goes unnoticed until it becomes more serious, so proactively getting checked can help alleviate this concern. For example, scheduled doctor visits for asthma patients are necessary to review what you’re doing for asthma control, your action plan, triggers, and medicines. At the same time, adhering to physician’s prescribed medication or treatments consistently will significantly improve lung condition and prevent worsening of asthma.
These are aligned with findings from a recent study by Professor Dave Singh, a renowned professor of clinical pharmacology and respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester, and the chair of the European Respiratory Society airway pathology group. His new research, titled “New Versus Old: The Impact of Changing Patterns of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescribing and Dosing Regimens in Asthma Management,” aims to change the way we understand asthma treatments.
“Asthma research has advanced significantly over the years, which allowed us to gain a better understanding of the disease and its optimal treatment options,” he states. “With this research, we gathered published data from different parts of the world and built a reliable mathematical model to predict the optimal treatment for patients with asthma. What we found is that the daily use of inhaled corticosteroids is very beneficial in controlling asthma and addressing its underlying symptoms. Maintaining lung health in general requires physician-patient partnership, disease education, and adherence to physician’s prescription.” he adds.
Last September 22-24, 2022, Singh traveled from the United Kingdom to Baguio City, Philippines to engage with our local lung experts, key opinion leaders and members of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians, on this new study that emphasizes the importance of daily ICS use, or maintenance inhalers, in effectively treating asthma symptoms and providing optimal disease control. The study also helps physicians choose the right medication and right treatment regimen to personalize treatment. A daily asthma treatment regimen not only addresses the symptoms that patients might feel – like shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest tightness, but also the underlying causes that they unknowingly experience like airway inflammation, airway remodeling, or bronchial hyperreactivity. Because asthma is in fact a chronic disease, it needs long-term and persistent treatment to manage the symptoms and provide adequate lung care.