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Take a Deeper Breath: Here’s How to Maximize Your Lung Power

relaxed couple breathing

Your lungs power every cell in your body by supplying the oxygen they need and removing the carbon dioxide they don’t. But when these important organs stop operating at 100 percent, it can leave you feeling less than 100 percent.

An unexplained, lingering cough — you know, the one you chalked up to a “bug” — or sudden breathlessness after stepping outside on a cold morning can point to reduced lung capacity. When your lungs no longer function at their peak level, it can lead to symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath as well as wheezing and chest tightness.

To get your airways working to the fullest again, the first move is to identify the potential triggers wreaking havoc on your system. Some common culprits behind reduced lung function include:

  • pollen
  • mold
  • dust
  • exercise
  • cold or dry air
  • pet dander
  • insect droppings
  • smoking or secondhand smoke
  • air impurities such as heating system emissions, scented candles and fireplace smoke
  • viral or bacterial infections, especially recurrent ear, sinus, throat or respiratory infections
  • acid reflux

With both environmental and health factors at play, checking in with an allergist can establish what’s really messing with your airways. Allergists are specially trained in assessing lung function and identifying the causes that reduce it. A first visit typically involves establishing baseline lung function data, evaluating possible triggers and then creating a plan of action — whether it’s avoiding said threats or taking further steps.

Periodic check-ins will track how your numbers change, ensuring your personal treatment plan is working the way it should. When your body gets the oxygen it needs, you’ll breathe easier in no time.

The board-certified allergists of Allergy & Asthma Specialists have state-of-the-art computerized equipment available at eight different locations to quantify your lung capacity. Ready to learn your numbers? Visit Allergy & Asthma Specialists to find an office near you.