Top 10 Ways to Fight for Air
From the American Lung Association
- Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, call the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) for the help you need to quit, or log on to Freedom From Smoking® Online at www.LungUSA.org.
- Avoid lung health hazards. Protect yourself from harmful air pollution, both indoors and outdoors. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home, especially if you have children.
- Recognize the warning signs of lung disease. Frequent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, excessive phlegm or blood when coughing and chronic fatigue are not normal. Symptoms like these mean you should see your health care provider for prompt medical attention.
- Know the symptoms of asthma: shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest and frequent coughing when exercising may be signs of asthma. Call your healthcare provider if you suspect your or a loved one has asthma. The Lung Association can help with information on exercise, medications and coping skills to manage the disease and prevent attacks. Call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) to learn more.
- Ask your health care provider about the flu shot – a safe and effective way to prevent influenza, commonly known as the flu. It is now recommended for everyone over six months of age, including those with chronic diseases, like COPD or asthma. Caregivers, relatives and health care providers of high-risk groups should also be vaccinated. Since the vaccine for the upcoming flu season will protect against both seasonal flu and 2010 H1N1, most people will need only one shot. If you’re over 65, you should also have a pneumonia vaccine. You can get vaccinated any time during the fall or winter and into the spring at a neighborhood clinic listed at http://www.fluvaccinefinder.org.
- Prevent air pollution. Drive less, conserve electricity and avoid burning wood or trash.
- Get involved! Air pollution worsens lung disease and can even be deadly for many people, including infants, older Americans and those with chronic diseases. Join in the fight for healthy air by reducing pollution and supporting clean air laws.
- Test your home for radon – it’s simple and inexpensive. This colorless, odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, yet it can be easily controlled.
- Teach your children to grow up smokefree. Their best bet for avoiding lung disease later in life is never to start smoking. Call your Lung Association for information on proven programs that teach kids not to smoke.
- Protect your family by encouraging exercise, eating right and keeping your home free of respiratory irritants. Help spread the word to those around you, to increase awareness about lung health. Every day, you can make a difference.