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How to Check Lung Health? 6 Best Lung Check Up Tests for You

How to Check Lung Health? 6 Best Lung Check Up Tests for You

Posted By Rupa Jaiswal Posted on July 28, 2021

Smoking or consumption of tobacco in any form is considered to be the leading preventable cause of death across most parts of the world. How to check lung health is one of the primary causes of concern in today’s times. Smoking increases health risks including enhanced vulnerability to Covid-19. Apart from this, it is also one of the comorbidities that is the cause for the overall deterioration of health regardless of any age or geographical demographic. Within ten seconds of inhaling the first puff of cigarette smoke, the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke reach one’s brain, heart, and other organs. Any smoke test near you reveals that tobacco smoke by itself contains seventy carcinogens (also known as chemicals that cause cancer).

How to Check Lung Health? 6 Best Lung Check Up Tests for You

Ill Effects of Smoking .

A lung checkup indicates that smoking harms almost every part of the human body and increases the risk of several illnesses. Despite it being so harmful, it is also highly addictive as the nicotine in cigarettes releases a chemical known as dopamine in one’s brain. It helps one focus, energizes the system, and creates a feeling of euphoria.

Dopamine is typically known as the achievement chemical and is responsible for people feeling good about themselves after an accomplishment. However, this feeling does not last long and as the nicotine levels drop in the bloodstream, one starts to experience what is commonly known as ‘withdrawal symptoms’. The longer one has been smoking, the more dopamine is needed to retain that feeling. The addiction to smoking is dependent on two factors – nicotine dependence and nicotine withdrawal. Any lung test for smokers depicts that.

Effects of Prolonged Tobacco Consumption – A Quick Overview

According to most established sources including reports published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the life expectancy of smokers is at least a decade less than that of non-smokers. In addition to this, a chest checkup indicates that people who make the effort to quit smoking completely before the age of forty, reduce the risk of dying from a smoking-related illness by almost ninety percent. Yet it is a struggle to get people to quit cold-turkey.

Some of the visible ill effects of smoking for a prolonged duration are:
LDL-bad cholesterol
• Bad dental hygiene
• Prematurely aging skin (wrinkles, age spots, discoloration, etc.)
• Decreased desire for food and general loss of appetite
• Erectile dysfunction and Infertility.

Apart from this, cigarette smoke in the lungs causes ailments like cough, cold, asthma, which are considered to be the initial symptoms of lung cancer as well.

Blood Test for Lungs – How Can They Help?

If detected early the spread of lung cancer can be arrested and possibly cured as well. To do so, several tests need to be undertaken. These blood tests for the lungs are recommended for all smokers as a preemptive strike against any life-threatening illnesses. Let’s check out more about these tests in detail:

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1.Spirometry:This is the most basic test which needs to be taken to gauge the effectiveness of one’s lung. Another name for this is the PFT (pulmonary function test). It detects lung capacity by simply having the patient inhale and exhale into a machine. This tests the individual’s lung strength and capacity.

Before undergoing this test, some preparation is required from the individual. Such as avoiding large and heavy meals before the test, avoiding caffeine, wearing loose and breathable attire, and informing if one is on any kind of medication for breathing problems like chronic bronchitis.

Also, this test is not advised for people who have undergone heart or chest surgery in the recent past. Spirometry is the primary test that is required to diagnose lung cancer, lung fibrosis, esophageal cancer, and any other interstitial lung diseases.

2.Chest X-Ray: These are recommended not just for chronic and heavy smokers but even for intermittent and social smokers. In this case, problems in the blood vessels caused due to smoking like blocked arteries and other lung cancer-related issues are detected. This method provides an image like a photograph which makes it easy to identify ailments in their nascent stage and arrest their development.

3.Electrocardiogram (ECG): This is the test that looks after the heart health of smokers. A very popular perception is that smoking only primarily affects the lungs. The heart usually gets ignored. This fallacy can snowball into a huge health concern if it is not monitored regularly. Tobacco contains carbon monoxide which binds with the hemoglobin in the hemoglobin and prevents blood from actively entering the heart.

This results in the heart working harder to pump adequate blood and consequently may disrupt its regular functioning. It may also potentially result in blocked arteries and clogged blood vessels. An electrocardiogram tests the regularity and speed of the heart beat and helps to ensure its optimal functioning. Thus, chain smokers are advised to get an ECG test done regularly.

4.Screening for Diabetes: Another illness that is commonly not associated with smoking or the consumption of tobacco is diabetes. Diabetes is usually associated with a high intake of calorie-rich food and sweets. However, serial smokers are also prone to diabetes overa period of time. Smoking a large number of cigarettes over a period of time makes the human body more resistant to insulin leading to higher levels of blood sugar.

This can manifest as type 2 diabetes which can end up as the stepping stone to other heart and kidney-related problems. To conclusively arrest this people are recommended to undergo tests like Hemoglobin A1C, Oral Glucose Tolerance, and Fasting Blood Glucose Levels. For a diabetic patient, regular physical exercise is also advised along with a nutritious diet.

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5.Vitamin D Test: This is one of the most common tests for chronic smokers. Several lung diseases have their origin in extremely low vitamin D in the blood. Thus, testing for it early is one of the best preventative measures one can undertake.

6.Nicotine Test: Several corporate organizations are now prioritizing their employees health in a big way. This also includes certain medical tests that an individual needs to undertake as part of pre-joining formalities. Nicotine, cholesterol, blood pressure are tests that can be taken through urine, blood, or saliva to gauge the overall health of an individual.

Conclusion

While people may be hesitant to take these tests, not doing so may potentially result in far-reaching detrimental effects. Thus, it is advised for all chronic and even social smokers.