How strong are your lungs? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

How strong are your lungs?

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 11:00 pm

Pretend it is your birthday and there is a beautifully decorated cake in front of you with candles lit and glowing. Friends and family gather around to root as you take the deepest breath you can to blow them all out. This act of blowing out birthday candles actually represents a real maneuver that is used to measure lung function.

When a patient takes a deep breath and blows as hard and fast as he or she can into a machine called a Spirometer, the machine measures the volume of air exhaled within the first second. It can also measure the entire volume of air exhaled until that point where you think you have blown out every last drop of breath you have and you gasp for the next breath. The first measurement is known as FEV1, or Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 Second and the second measurement is FVC, or Forced Vital Capacity.

These measurements are extremely important if you are a patient suffering from a condition commonly known as COPD, or chronic obstructive lung (pulmonary) disease. We know how much air a normal, healthy pair of lungs can hold and how much these healthy lungs can exhale in one second. Since we know that, we can rate the degree of impairment for someone with COPD. For example, a patient with an FEV1 of 30 percent of that predicted for a normal patient would have a more serious case of COPD than another patient whose FEV1 was 75 percent of predicted.

The take-home message really should be the fact that people with chronic lung disease suffer from obstructed airflow that leaves them in various degrees of breathlessness. Cigarette smoking, undoubtedly, is the No. 1 culprit responsible for this situation. Inhaled cigarette smoke (even second-hand smoke to a certain extent) initiates a cascade of inflammatory events that involves macrophages, neutrophils, nuclear factor-B, interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, elastase/antielastase imbalance, proteinase mucus stimulants ... need I say more? The net result is a vicious cycle of inflammation in which the bronchial walls thicken narrowing the airways. Blowing out birthday candles just isn’t fun anymore.

Fortunately, there are some very good medicines that are delivered directly to the lungs via inhalers. But again, wouldn’t it be better to stop the process before it even begins?

If you smoke, do whatever you can to stop. It’s never too late to quit. If you have never smoked, why start? COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States with related health care costs estimated to be about $23 billion a year. I know we will never eradicate death; but maybe we could eradicate COPD as one of the causes.

 

Agnes Oblas is a nurse practitioner with a private practice and residence in Ahwatukee Foothills. For questions, or if there is a topic you would like addressed, call her at (602) 405-6320 or e-mail agirnnp@cox.net. Her Web site is www.newpathshealth.com.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Scottsdale medical marijuana dispensary opening its doors

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Just weeks away from putting the issue of recreational marijuana use in front of Arizona voters, Scottsdale is opening up its…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 2:26 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-northeast-valley/…

Why Does Trump Like Dictators?

And would he support democratic movements abroad as president? Donald Trump likes dictators and likes to be liked by them. After meeting Egypt…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 12:54 am @ http://www.weeklystandard.com/why-does-trump-like-…

Arizona High School Soccer Team Refuses To Play Team With 2 Girl Players

An Arizona high school boys soccer team forfeited a match against an opponent because there were two girls on the team. The Arizona Republic r…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 12:25 am @ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/26/arizona-high-…

Thief is caught on camera stealing Halloween decoration in North Phoenix

PHOENIX - He either didn’t see the cameras or didn’t care. But the cameras captured a man nabbing a Halloween decoration in a North Phoenix ne…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 11:55 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/nor…

How Instagram Stealthily Publishes Maps of Our Exact Locations… and we don’t care

After a few years of little use, in the last few months I’ve been semi-casually posting photos to Instagram. My primary destination remains fl…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 11:32 pm @ http://cogdogblog.com/2016/09/instagram-mapping-you/

Domingue's New Mask Honors Arizona Sports Stars

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content GLENDALE - Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue unveiled a new mask at training cam…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 10:53 pm @ https://www.nhl.com/coyotes/news/domingues-new-mas…

Man refuses to cooperate with police investigation after being shot in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Police say a man isn't cooperating with an investigation after being shot in Phoenix. Police were initially called to an apartment c…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 9:55 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Phoenix Things To Do: 19 events to check out this week around the Valley (Sept. 30

PHOENIX - It is a big week for events in the Valley! From Oktoberfest events to food festivals to country concerts, Phoenix is the place to be…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 8:53 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/entertainment/events/phoenix-…

Phoenix fire treat woman with multiple stab wounds, taken to hospital in critical condition

PHOENIX - A woman has been transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Published: September 25, 2016 - 8:24 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Going to Mars Could Mess Up the Hunt for Alien Life

Twenty years ago, America celebrated its Independence Day by landing several thousand invaders on the surface of Mars. On July 4, 1997, the Pa…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 8:22 pm @ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/mars-jo…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…