Can your Lungs Heal from Smoking?
The decision to quit smoking is a crucial step towards physical, psychological and social benefits. Reducing the amount of toxins that you inhale is a sure way of improving your health.
As you cut back on smoking, you will start to take stock of the damage that you have done to your body, especially your lungs. It is common for previous smokers to start questioning: Can I clean my lungs after I have quit smoking? Is there anything I can do to repair my lungs?
Read; How to Quit Smoking
In this article, Voom Labs, a reputable UK-based vape company, offers smokers hope and advises on a few ways that one can help the lungs ‘clean’ themselves.
What happens to the lungs when you smoke?
Our team found it prudent to first discuss how the lungs are damaged when you smoke. Smoke has about 500+ different chemical compounds. These compounds are deposited in the air sacs, alveoli as well as on the lining of your bronchi. The deposits of tar and other toxic compounds lead to the black discoloration of the lungs as well as the development of other lung diseases.
While most of the damage is reversible, there is some permanent damage that is dealt to your lungs. Below are two of the most common forms of permanent damage:
In each lung, you have small air sacs such as alveoli. This is where the air is exchanged in your body. When you smoke, alveoli are destroyed reducing the surface area available for air to be exchanged.
The disease is common among smokers. It causes inflammation of the airways to your lungs called bronchi. Chronic bronchitis causes the production of too much mucus and also increases the possibility of you getting other infections.
When these two diseases come together, doctors refer to the condition/ disease as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, OCPD.
It should be noted that the speed of recovery/ regeneration depends on how long you have smoked for and also the frequency. The amount of damage of a previous chain smoker will be significantly higher.
Repair of the lungs
Lung cells contain an almost ‘magical’ ability to repair themselves. As long as there are some cells that remain unscathed from the effects of smoke, your lung cells can grow and replace the damaged cells. But this is only possible if smokers check on their smoking habits and preserve the lung cells that remain.
Your lungs typically contain microscopic hair known as cilia. Once you have quit smoking, the cilia start clearing the tar and other toxic deposits. Within the first 2 to 12 weeks, you should start experiencing improvement in your lung function.
This process is a long one that could take longer than 12 months.
To improve the rate at which your lungs repair themselves, check the section below.
Natural ways to clean your lungs
As described above, there is some damage that cannot be reversed after years of smoking. That’s no reason to give up hope. There are activities to indulge in to improve your lung health in the long run.
Some of the activities have been detailed below:
If you refer to the previous section, we mention the high probability of previous smokers having chronic bronchitis. One of the effects of the disease is accumulation of mucus in the bronchi. Even after you have quit, the buildup of mucus may persist.
Coughing will help you get rid of the mucus that is blocking your airways. This will open them up and improve your intake of oxygen.
The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized. Your lung function needs to be expanded through consistent and regular exercise. You can start simple by going on walks outside or going at a simple pace indoors, if you have a treadmill.
By taking on the extra challenge, you are building up the capacity of your air sacs. Your alveoli will be able to exchange gases more quickly.
During this time, you want to give your lungs an easy time when it comes to the quality of air that you take in. The team at Voom Labs recommends that you avoid secondhand smoke as well as air that might contain mold, dust or any other toxic chemicals.
Be friends with Google and other weather applications. Constantly check on the local weather reports to avoid going out when the air quality is compromised.
To help break down the thick mucus in your airways, it is recommended that you take in plenty of warm beverages and fluids. This will cause thinning of the mucus and reduce the strain on your alveoli.
Warm beverages such as tea and broth come highly recommended. Green tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This might act well on the mucus in your bronchi. If you haven’t developed a taste for either tea or broth, you might want to consider warm water.
Another proven way of reducing the mucus and the inflammation is by considering steam therapy. The use of a steam mask is also known to bring immediate breathing relief.
Will my lungs return to normal?
Complete healing of your lungs depends on your tenure as a smoker. Due to the deposits of tar and other compounds, smoking has serious damage to your lungs. Some of it may be irreversible. There is no surgery to improve the condition of your lungs because of the extensive, internal damage at a microscopic level.
Do not be discouraged however. Studies have shown that your lungs can heal and return to that of a normal person’s. It needs you to be consistent and diligent in the solutions specified above.
The decision to quit smoking comes with several benefits. However, the journey is not as straightforward due to the addictive characteristics of nicotine. One of the challenges is cravings and withdrawal symptoms. During those hard times, consider the use of vape pens and products from Voom Labs.
The use of vaping products is kinder to your health, satisfies those nicotine cravings and keeps you on your path to quit smoking. Check out our online store. We have the finest vape devices and products at an affordable price.