We’ve all been there—you’re sick with a stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat, when you realize you have been taking your ability to breath for granted. Sometimes we forget how important our respiratory system is until it’s not functioning properly.

Just as you take care of your bones, joints, and muscles, the internal systems in your body need to be tended to as well. We’re discussing the most common lung-related issues among Americans and the preventative ways to keep your respiratory system healthy.

Common Respiratory Issues

Respiratory issues can range from manageable to insufferable, depending on the severity of the condition. In the United States, 35 million people are currently living with chronic lung diseases.

The top 8 lung-related illnesses and diseases are:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis/Bronchiectasis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pleural Effusion

Tips For Better Respiratory Health

Here are the most effective things you can do to keep your lungs healthy:

Avoid Indoor Pollutants

Chemicals, secondhand smoke, and radon found in the air are all linked to causing and worsening lung disease. By keeping your home and car smoke-free places, you can avoid the damages caused by secondhand smoke. Additionally, test your home for radon and speak to a healthcare professional if you believe someone is jeopardizing your air quality at home, school, or work.

Minimize Exposure to Outside Pollutants

Have you ever looked out at a city’s skyline and seen a dark veil of smog covering the buildings, or driven past a factory with black smoke billowing out of the smokestack? Chances are if it looks like it would be harmful to inhale, it is. Breathing in strong chemicals and pollutants can irritate the respiratory system and become detrimental to lung health. Check your local weather channel to stay up to date on the status of your city’s air quality. On bad air days, don’t exercise outside and try to stay indoors as much as possible.

Don’t Smoke

Arguably the single most helpful thing you can do for your lungs is not to smoke or quit smoking. Smoking is the #1 cause of lung cancer, COPD, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. Smoke narrows the air passages and makes inhaling and exhaling more difficult for your body. Not only does smoking cause swelling, inflammation, and irritation in the lungs, but it destroys lung tissue and causes changes that can result in cancer. If you only follow one respiratory health tip, let it be this one!

Prevent Infection

What starts as a cold or respiratory infection, can lead to more serious and sometimes fatal issues. Prevent infections by washing your hands with soap and water frequently, getting a flu shot every year, avoiding crowds during cold and flu season, and taking good care of your personal hygiene. If you do get sick, avoid spreading germs to other people by staying home from school or work, and not going out in public unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Be Consistent With Your Healthcare

Exercising and getting regular check-ups are two definitive ways to ensure good lung health. Even if you’re feeling well, receiving frequent medical evaluations help prevent and detect diseases early. Early detection is especially important for lung disease, which often goes undetected until it’s too late. Make it a priority to monitor your respiratory health by staying consistent with your workout routine and doctor’s visits.

In the case that you or a loved one are suffering an asthma attack or experiencing breathing issues, visit our facility off TX-78 as soon as possible. Wylie ER’s highly trained staff are here to help ease your respiratory discomfort and assist with all your medical needs 24/7, 365 days a year.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Wylie ER and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Wylie ER or any one of our concierge-level, medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.