There are many types of pulmonary diseases but they all have one thing in common: They affect the lung’s ability to absorb oxygen. This can cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, pain, a persistent cough, and it may limit your ability to function normally. The good news is that there are ways to prevent getting pulmonary disease. The number one risk factor for getting pulmonary disease is smoking; therefore, the first step in pulmonary disease prevention is to quit smoking. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that passive smokers are at an even higher risk than smokers when it comes to pulmonary diseases, including lung cancer. It is important to steer clear of smokers and don’t be afraid to ask smokers to light up in a more secluded area, where you will not be forced to inhale their smoke.
Exposure to radon gas in your home or workplace is another risk factor for developing lung disease. You can buy a special kit to test for the presence of radon and you should check the U.S. Environment Protection Agency Web site for information on how to deal with radon gas. Asbestos can cause scarring of the lungs and is found in the insulation of some buildings. People who work with asbestos are required by law to use protective gear, including special face masks, and they should check their exposure levels routinely. Avoid inhaling chemicals, such as from paint fumes and cleaning agents, which can increase your risk of pulmonary disease. Try to use them in well-ventilated areas and use protective gear. A healthy diet high in antioxidants reduces your risk of lung cancer, and vaccinations can help to prevent flu and pneumonia. If you are at risk of pulmonary disease, have routine spirometry tests to check that your lungs are healthy.