Life with a lung condition can be hard, especially in these days of lockdown and Coronavirus. Love your Lungs week is here to raise awareness of these conditions.
Each year the British Lung Foundation hold an awareness week focussed around lung conditions. This year’s awareness week is held between the 22nd and 28th June and its all about staying connected during the Coronavirus Lockdown.
Lung disease - the facts
Did you know that in the UK, 10,000 people get a new diagnosis of a lung disease every week?
Every 5 minutes, somebody in the UK dies from lung disease.
Every year there are over 700,000 hospital admissions due to lung disease.
What is a lung disease?
There are a number of lung diseases that affect people in the UK. Here are the main culprits:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – It is estimated that 1.2m people in the UK are living with COPD. COPD is a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have become narrowed. Two of these conditions are long-term bronchitis (where the airways are inflamed and narrowed) and emphysema (which breaks down the tiny air sacs at the end of the airways into the lungs where oxygen is taken into your bloodstream, in turn the lungs become full of bigger holes which trap air).
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) – a lung disease that causes progressive scarring of the lungs. It is unknown what causes it; this is currently being researched but it is understood that 32,500 people in the UK live with IPF.
- Mesothelioma – a cancer that mainly affects the lining of the lungs. Currently there are over 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma in the UK per year.
- Lung Cancer – 85,000 people currently live with diagnosed lung cancer. It can affect anyone and unfortunately current treatments are not effective for the majority of people, although huge improvements have been made in the last 10 years.
How can I keep my lungs healthy?
Lung health is affected by many things, here are some of the main issues:
- Stop smoking – Over 6 million people still smoke yet it is probably the number one issue that harms our lungs. On the Holistic List you will find many practices that can help you to stop smoking.
- Air quality – air pollution is bad for healthy lunge, and can make systems worse for people living with a lung disease. Pollution is linked to 40,000 deaths in England every year.
- Occupational lung disease – An estimated 12,000 deaths each year are linked to lung disease through work. Traditionally coal mining was a cause, but new threats are constantly emerging.
- Flu vaccinations – Flu can be fatal, a fact only too apparent at the moment. Flu can hit people with lung disease the hardest, and not everyone who is most at risk of contracting the flu is vaccinated. Those ‘at risk’ people can suffer serious complications following a bout of ‘normal’ flu.