Healthy & Unhealthy Lungs Comparison

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Healthy & Unhealthy Lungs Comparison
Cigarette smoke can harm healthy lungs. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Saquan Stimpson)

A patient with healthy lungs can breathe and be more active. For this reason, it's important to stay away from tobacco and products that harm or damage lung tissue. Healthy lungs can be identified under a microscope or by observation from a doctor. A patient can often feel the difference between a healthy lung and a damaged lung. Laboured breathing, persistent cough and chest pains are symptoms of lung damage.

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Significance

The significance of healthy lungs is the ability to breathe and deliver oxygen to the body's tissue. Unhealthy lungs are unable to properly deliver oxygen to haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is sent to lungs and attach to oxygen. If lungs are bad, it may not be oxygenated and ultimately deprives body tissue. Bad lungs may also be inhibited from removing carbon dioxide from the body, which is a waste product of metabolism.

Features

Several features make up the lung organ. First, the trachea is the wind pipe that connects the mouth to the lungs. The trachea branches down to lungs and splits into the right and left lung. These branching points covert into bronchioles which hold the alveoli. The alveoli is where gas exchange occurs, which is the process of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide. Unhealthy lungs from diseases have blocked trachea and bronchi tubes. Asthma patients have inflammation in the wind pipe, making it difficult to breathe.

Identification

Identifying healthy lungs from healthy lungs is done through an x-ray image. Doctors are able to view the x-ray of a lung and identify issues, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. Serious conditions like emphysema show enlargement of the lungs. Cancer patients may have an x-ray, biopsy and MRI to identify any metastasis of the cancer.

Considerations

For most people, healthy lungs are felt through normal breathing. Asthma patients will hear wheezing or have difficulty breathing. Cancer patients may be unaware of the disease until the tumour blocks the trachea, making it difficult to breathe and increasing the chance of collapse. Patients who have trouble breathing should consult a doctor.

Prevention

Prevention of unhealthy lungs is accomplished by avoiding inhalants that can harm lung tissue. Smoking is the biggest harm on lung tissue. It can lead to cancer, and it kills the villi located on lung tissue, which pushes harmful microbes out of the lungs. Avoiding harmful environmental toxins also protects healthy lungs from developing disease or permanent conditions.

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