Please take a deep breath because it is Respiratory Care Week. This week is a time to make sure your respiratory system is in tip-top shape; whether that is going to the doctor to get a health screening, refilling an inhaler prescription, or maybe re-evaluating lifestyle choices such as smoking or vaping.
Respiratory Care Week was driven by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). President Ronald Reagan worked with the AARC and issued a proclamation declaring the last full week in October as National Respiratory Therapy Week. On September 15, 1983, the proclamation was significant at the time, with thousands of deaths each year caused by cigarette smoking. Today, cigarette smoking is not as big of a problem as it used to be; however, the current trend of vaping and e-cigarettes causes illnesses in many young people.
According to the AARC, “Respiratory Care is the health care discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health and wellness.” With that being said, respiratory care is more important than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has been reported to affect the respiratory system, making those with respiratory diseases in the high-risk category for severe illnesses and possible complications from COVID-19.
Annually, on the Wednesday of Respiratory Care Week, Lung Health Day is celebrated, promoting not only taking care of your respiratory system but also making sure your lungs are in good health. Your lungs work with your respiratory system to allow your body to breathe. The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is called respiration. Essentially, you can’t have a healthy respiratory system without healthy lungs.
You can improve your respiratory system to stop any habits that can cause ill lung health, such as smoking, vaping, or inhaling secondhand smoke. Another way you can improve your respiratory system is to eat foods rich in antioxidants. This can include dark chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, kale, spinach, etc. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Other ways to improve your respiratory system is to get vaccinated for the flu, exercise regularly, and to practice deep breathing.
At First Care Clinics, our nurse practitioners know what good respiratory health looks like, and we are here to help you stay healthy! Schedule a health screening with us during Respiratory Care Week to make sure your lungs and overall respiratory health are in the best shape they can be.