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Lung Health Awareness Month – May 2023

Lung Health Awareness Month is observed annually in May in Australia. It’s a national campaign by Lung Foundation Australia to raise awareness of the importance of lung health and how to recognize symptoms of lung disease. One in three Australians is impacted by lung disease and lung cancer, and these lung diseases are the causes of 45 deaths of Australians every day. Moreover, they can affect anyone, no matter their age or background. Lung Health Awareness Month is a reminder to take care of our lungs and see the warning signs of lung disease.

History of Lung Health Awareness Month

The Lung Health Awareness Month campaign by Lung Foundation Australia is meant to raise public awareness on how to recognize and act upon the symptoms of lung disease before it’s too late. Recognizing the warning signs can help you get a diagnosis and receive treatment to prevent it from becoming worse or even life-threatening. This campaign is essential because 46% of all Australians rarely and never even think about their lung health. It probably leads to many cases that are diagnosed at a late stage when there are limited treatment options.

Lungs are vital organs in the human body, and lung disease prevents these organs from working properly. Anyone can be affected by lung disease, whether they are men, women, children, smokers, ex-smokers, or non-smokers. In Australia, one in three people has lung disease, and one in seven deaths is caused by lung disease. There are three main types of lung disease: airway diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (C.O.P.D.); lung tissue diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (I.P.F.); and lung circulation diseases, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension (P.A.H.).

When you have C.O.P.D., it will affect the airways carrying oxygen and other gases into and out of your lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The symptoms of C.O.P.D. include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, or wheezing. In the case of I.P.F., the lungs are unable to expand fully due to scarring or inflammation. The symptoms of I.P.F. are also shortness of breath, a persistent dry cough, tiredness, or loss of appetite. In the P.A.H. case, arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart are affected. The symptoms of P.A.H. include increased shortness of breath, chest pressure or pain, swelling, or fast heart rate.

Lung Health Awareness Month timeline

1679
The Voluminous Lungs Description

Swiss physician Théophile Bonet describes C.O.P.D. as ‘voluminous lungs.’

1814
The Disabling Health Condition

British physician Charles Badham identifies chronic bronchitis as a disabling health condition and part of C.O.P.D.

1846
The Invention of Spirometer

John Hutchinson creates the spirometer, a device that measures the capacity for air within the lungs.

1976
The Danger of Smoking

Physician Charles Fletcher links smoking to C.O.P.D.

Lung Health Awareness Month FAQs

Can you train your lungs to be stronger?

Regular exercise makes your lungs and, heart, stronger as it does to your muscles and bones.

What exercise is good for shortness of breath?

Stretching, walking, and weight training can be good for shortness of breath. Check with your doctor before you start any new exercise regime.

What is the fastest way to increase lung capacity?

It is said that belly breathing and deep breathing exercises may help increase lung capacity.

How to Observe Lung Health Awareness Month

  1. Quit smoking

    If you are a smoker, Lung Health Awareness Month can be a starter for you to try quitting. We know that it’s not easy, but it is possible. Quitting it will not only decrease the risk of lung disease but will also prolong your life.

  2. Get checked

    If you are one of those who rarely think about lung health, this is a reminder for you. Get yourself checked so that you don’t miss the signs of lung disease.

  3. Exercise regularly

    You have the whole month as a reminder to do regular exercise. Doing regular exercise will help maintain your fitness and well-being. Also, it will reduce the symptoms of shortness of breath.

5 Interesting Facts About Lungs

  1. They are not the same size

    The right lung is larger than the left lung in the human body.

  2. They can float

    The lungs are the only organs in the human body that can float on the water.

  3. Women and children breathe faster

    Due to the volume of lungs, women and children breathe faster than men do.

  4. They have their own defense mechanisms

    The lungs have cells that produce mucous to act as protection against dust and dirt.

  5. Coughing doesn’t mean lung problems

    Coughing around 10 times a day is very normal for the average person, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a problem with your lungs.

Why Lung Health Awareness Month is Important

  1. To prevent lung disease

    Lung Health Awareness Month helps us recognize the signs of lung disease. We can then check our lung health and take care of it to prevent lung disease from happening.

  2. To spread the word

    More people need to know about the importance of lung health and the symptoms of lung disease. As a result, more people will get their lungs checked and get treatment if any symptoms occur.

  3. As a reminder

    Lung Health Awareness Month can be a reminder for all of us to take care of our lungs as well as to maintain our overall health and well-being. Avoiding bad habits such as smoking and doing regular exercise are two of many ways to do so.

Lung Health Awareness Month dates

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2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
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2027May 1Saturday
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