Today, fresh air is becoming a rare resource, meaning that, more than ever, we have to pay attention to our lungs and the signs they give us when something is not okay. It turns out that some of these signs are pretty easy to dismiss, but if you pay attention, they might save your life.
Here at Bright Side we’ve compiled a few symptoms that might indicate you need to take a deep breath of fresh air and a bonus at the end telling you what you can do to get healthy lungs.
1. Back and shoulder pain
Although it’s listed as a rare symptom, back, shoulder, or even chest pain can indicate the beginning of lung cancer that, if detected in the early stages, is very likely treatable. If this pain is stronger and lasts longer than the usual back pain, or if you experience it often, going to the doctor might be a good idea.
A cough can be indicative of something simple, like a common cold, but it can also be a symptom of chronic diseases, hence the importance of knowing how to distinguish different types of coughs. Acute and sub-acute coughs might be signs of lung cancer, especially if combined with other symptoms like coughing up blood.
3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is most often caused by heart or lung conditions, like asthma or allergies. If you are experiencing this, it’s a good idea to change your environment and try getting out of the city for a while or trying a more efficient workout routine. Make sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing shortness of breath really often.
4. Yellow eyes and skin (jaundice)
This can be an easily dismissible condition, yet it’s a very important one because it is a clear indicator of liver problems that can be caused by lung cancer. Jaundice is a condition that turns your skin yellow. It also affects the white part of your eye, turning it pale yellow and in acute diseases, dark yellow.
5. Lack of energy
Everybody feels tired from time to time, this is normal. Sleep deprivation or stress can be the causes of your tiredness, but if you’re feeling abnormally tired very often, your cough doesn’t go away, and you have a loss of appetite, you might have an underlying medical condition.
Bonus: Tips to follow for optimal lung health
Research and popular science have been committed to creating awareness among the general public about the importance of lung health. Along with that movement, many sites have created a myth about lung cleaning. No quick fix for “cleaning” your lungs exists, that’s why it’s important to correct bad habits when they appear.
Quitting smoking and adjusting your diet are the most obvious habits you can control to make sure you have healthy lungs. Most importantly, they are the most effective ones. If you’re living with a chronic condition, try adding antioxidant-rich food to your diet.
Don’t wait until you’re forced to exercise! Take initiative and restore your lungs by making them more active. If you have a chronic disease there is no need to be discouraged. Contact your doctor before changing up your routine, but keep in mind that, as mentioned here, it’s possible for people with asthma to even run marathons.