How to check the lungs at home and what symptoms should alert you

Health Tips

Home tests to check

We all know, speaking about the work of the lungs, that volume affects the work of this organ. On average, the volume of lungs in a man is 3-3.5 liters, in a woman – 2.5-3 liters. How to make a lung check-up at home? In no case will it replace a visit to the doctor, but nevertheless. One of the tests is well known to everyone. You need to take the most ordinary balloon and inflate it. To begin with, it is better to do this without reference to the experiment, so that the material becomes more elastic. Then inflate the balloon with one exhalation. The diameter of the ball must be at least 15 centimeters. If less, then your lungs are probably not working at full capacity and this can happen for a number of reasons (it is not necessary to immediately think in the direction of COVID-19).

Another test: you need to wrap your arms around your neck. If it turned out easily, the fingers do not squeeze it, then everything is in order. If the fingers are not long enough or you feel tight, then you are obese, which is very bad for the lungs (although the connection is not obvious at first glance). When overweight, the diaphragm is always in a compressed position and does not allow the lungs to “unfold” at full strength, plus obese people often experience breath holding during sleep (apnea).

Finally, put your index fingers together. If the swollen fingers diverge at the same time, the nails look like “watch glasses”, then this may indicate the presence of obstructive pulmonary disease. At the same time, doctors are urged not to rush to do a CT scan of the lungs at the slightest suspicion of an illness (you should be referred by a doctor with an appropriate clinical picture).

Why CT is not always worth doing

“In the early stages of the disease, CT may not show any changes. Today it has already been proven that with coronavirus, the degree of lung involvement can increase on the 10th day of illness. Therefore, clear lungs or little lung involvement in the early stages does not determine the prognosis of the disease. It may stay the same, or it may increase. That is, CT does not give the doctor any reliable information for treatment. The most important thing is the symptoms of the disease! Breathe first! A small percentage of lung lesions may be asymptomatic and not life-threatening. Even severe changes in the lungs on CT may not be accompanied by shortness of breath and fever. A person can easily bear it. And it also does not require a change in treatment or hospitalization. Symptoms are still the most important part for prescribing treatment! ”, Doctor and TV presenter Elena Malysheva writes on her Instagram.

Warning symptoms: check

Another way to check lung function is pulse oximetry. It is also quite possible to carry out at home. The pulse oximeter is a pocket instrument. It is put on the tip of the finger (use the middle or ring finger) and turns on. We are waiting for the numbers to appear on the screen. The first will show the heart rate (heart rate), the second – the oxygen content SPO2. The pulse rate is 60-90 beats per minute. The oxygen index is 94-99% tissue saturation. If less than 90%, we can talk about some degree of respiratory dysfunction. If this indicator is unchanged, it definitely makes sense to consult a doctor, perhaps we are talking about a pathological condition. Shortness of breath, cough for no reason, headache in the morning, drowsiness, fatigue should also alert. These symptoms make our heart work harder, increasing the pulse rate. Also pay attention to the blue nasolabial triangle and nails. If these symptoms appear, it is worth contacting a specialist to conduct an examination and start treatment on time.

Doctors, speaking about the most common pathology of the lungs, call chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At risk are long-term smokers and people working in hazardous industries. As well as those who live in ecologically polluted areas. COPD is dangerous because it is asymptomatic for the time being. The patient is not bothered by anything, except for “tolerable” breathing problems, periodic coughing, shortness of breath … And when a person goes to the doctor, often the pathology becomes chronic.

Prevention, vaccinations

Patients at risk should regularly undergo examinations such as x-rays, spirography, blood and sputum tests. Early diagnosis will allow to identify the first signs of pathology in time and prescribe adequate therapy. Treatment includes medications, oxygen therapy, physical therapy and exercise therapy (everyone knows the benefits of swimming and proper running, walking) to improve lung function. If the disease is started, it can lead to disability.

And one more tip: how to prepare your lungs for winter? However, the recommendation is useful at any time if you know about your bad heredity. You need to undergo an ultrasound examination of the veins of the lower extremities. That is, to determine whether you have varicose veins. Broken blood clots from the lower extremities enter the pulmonary circulation in seconds, causing pulmonary embolism – a severe pathology. It is also recommended to get vaccinated against influenza and pneumococcus during the season. If there are no problems with the first, then the second is not always easy to do even for a fee. Children are vaccinated against pneumococcal infections free of charge.


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