Table of contents:
- Conditions Related to Decreased Lung Capacity
- Conditions Related to Increased Lung Capacity
- Measuring Lung Capacity
- How to Maintain Lung Capacity
Lung capacity is the ability of the lungs to accommodate air when breathing. Decrease and increase in lung capacity can have an impact on your he alth condition. Check out the full explanation in the following article
Under normal circumstances, both lungs can accommodate as much as 6 liters of air. Along with increasing age, lung capacity and function will decrease, especially after entering the age of 35 years.
However, lung capacity can also decrease in younger people, especially in people with certain diseases.
Conditions Related to Decreased Lung Capacity
There are several conditions that can cause reduced lung capacity, including:
Aging can make the diaphragm muscle weaker, thereby reducing the elasticity of the lung tissue and chest muscles that play a role in the breathing process. This makes aging often one of the factors that trigger reduced lung capacity.
restrictive lung disease
Restrictive lung disease is a condition when the lungs cannot store too much air. There are several conditions that can cause a decrease in lung capacity, including:
- pleural effusion
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- History of lung surgery
- Lung swelling
- nerve damage to respiratory muscles
- Interstitial lung disease
The various medical conditions above make it more difficult for sufferers to breathe. This is caused by damage to lung tissue or problems with the respiratory muscles, so that the body is unable to inhale maximally.
Conditions Related to Increased Lung Capacity
Lung capacity can also increase. Some of the medical conditions that can cause an increase in lung capacity are:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
These conditions make the air moving out of the lungs slower than usual, so the patient will find it more difficult to exhale. Patients with this condition also often experience shortness of breath when undergoing strenuous activities.
Measuring Lung Capacity
To determine the amount of lung capacity, the method that is often used is spirometry. Spirometry is a test to measure how much air you can maximally exhale in one breath. This test is performed by a doctor using a spirometer.
Spirometry can also be used for the following purposes:
- Help doctors diagnose symptoms or diseases in the lungs, such as coughing or shortness of breath that doesn't go away
- Checking lung he alth in patients aged over 35 years and smokers
- Checking the severity of the condition or seeing the progress of the patient's condition after undergoing treatment
- Monitoring the lung condition of patients who will perform surgery
How to Maintain Lung Capacity
Lower function decline is a normal part of the aging process. However, there are steps that can be taken to maintain lung capacity and maintain a he althy respiratory system, including:
- Exercise regularly and do various exercises to strengthen lung function and capacity, such as diaphragmatic breathing exercises and yoga as well as swimming, especially breaststroke
- Quit smoking and avoid exposure to cigarette smoke
- Implementing a he althy diet, including increasing the intake of foods rich in antioxidants
- Improve indoor air quality using an air filter
- Completing immunizations to prevent lung infections, for example by getting flu vaccines and pneumonia vaccines
Although a decrease in lung capacity can be affected by age, you must remain vigilant if you feel difficult to breathe or short of breath accompanied by a long and persistent cough.
If you experience breathing problems or symptoms that are an indication of a decrease or increase in lung capacity, do not hesitate to consult a doctor so that they can be given the right examination and treatment.