When you think about what’s damaging the lungs, the first thing that comes to mind is cigarette smoke. That’s true because whoever smokes inhales over 4000 substances that endanger the health of our lungs. But besides cigarettes, there are many other risk factors that damage the lungs. Let’s take a look at the most dangerous factors and causes of lung damage.

COPD Causes | Causes of Lung Damage
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The most common lung diseases, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), and even lung cancer, are usually caused by harmful airborne particles entering the lungs. With the help of the cilia, the lungs can clean themselves to a certain extent. The foreign bodies get caught in the cilia and are transported out of the lungs with the help of the cilia.

Cigarette Smoke is the Top Risk Factor – Causes of Lung Damage

Particles from cigarette smoke are particularly dangerous. In addition to nicotine, over 4000 substances are inhaled when you smoke. Anyone who smokes a lot, risks permanent damage to the bronchi and lungs. The main disease caused by cigarette smoke is COPD.

In the early stages, the cilia in the lungs are destroyed. This destroys the self-cleaning of the lungs bit by bit. In the advanced stage, there is also a strong cough with expectoration and shortness of breath.

Women Smoking Cigarette | Causes of Lung Damage | Disease

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Bacteria and Viruses also Invade the Lungs

In second place of the lung enemies are microbiological pathogens, i.e. bacteria and viruses. If the lungs are healthy, they usually manage to fight off the pathogens. It is more difficult with a weakened immune system or with a high concentration of pathogens.

Frequently occurring bacteria are for example pneumococci. They can cause pneumonia and are often responsible for sudden exacerbations of respiratory diseases. Pneumococcal vaccination is therefore recommended to patients, for example with COPD.

Fine Dust Irritates the LungsCauses of Lung Damage

Fine dust is a mixture of very small solid and liquid particles. These are formed, among other things, by combustion processes, but also by the wear and tear of the road surface. It is estimated that half of all particulate matter is caused by road traffic. Fine dust is also an issue indoors. Cigarette smoke, cooking, and frying vapors, and the emission of vacuum cleaner filters are the main causes.

Particulate matter from road traffic is gaining importance as a risk factor for lung diseases. When inhaled, the particles get into the airways, very fine particles even reach the alveoli. Possible consequences are cough, inflammatory reactions of the lungs, bronchitis, and worsening of asthma. Not only the elderly people and children are at risk, but also those who live on busy roads.

Bad Air Quality and Fine Dust | What causes lung disease
©AP / Altaf Qadri

Proper Oral Hygiene is Important

Poor oral hygiene promotes airway inflammation. In particular, germs that cause inflammation of the gums and periodontal diseases can lead to chronic or acute respiratory diseases. Because, if the immune system is weakened, it is difficult for the lungs to fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It can even cause pneumonia. Elderly or bedridden people are particularly at risk as their immune systems are weakened and oral hygiene is often neglected. The risk is particularly high with smokers.

Lung Damage By Loud Noise

Loud music or a bass that is too strong can also be dangerous for the lungs. If the bass pressure is too strong, tears can occur in the lungs, albeit very rarely. This is shown by the study ‘Music: a new cause of primary spontaneous pneumothorax’ by Marc Noppen and his research team. In the so-called pneumothorax, air collects in the pleura, which causes the lungs to collapse.

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These causes of lung damage are the most common and highly damaging risk factors to the lungs. One must quit or reduce smoking along with taking preventive measures to protect from other factors to ensure a healthy pair of baby pink colored lungs.

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