Ways to improve your respiratory health
Cigarettes as well as vapes cause irritation in the lung airways that lead to permanent, adverse effects on lung function by destroying lung tissue where air exchange occurs.
Smoking suppresses the immune system which one needs in fighting infections such as COVID-19.
Exercise can improve one's ability to breath. When one is sedentary, the lung sacs do not get enough air and collapse slightly. To improve the lung sac capacity, people have to breathe against resistance. By breathing against resistance when exercising, you are actually helping expand and keep open the air saves in your lungs.
Reduce excess mucus buildup
We swallow the majority of mucus, but when we have things that irritate our nasal passages, we can produce too much mucus and be unable to clear it. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, and blocks oxygen from entering and leaving the pathways of the lungs.
There are a few methods for controlling excess mucus:
You could try a saline nasal spray if you have allergies.
People with asthma can use their inhalers to decrease inflammation, which reduces mucus.
Taking a hot shower or boiling hot water to make a hot towel compress may also work, as the steam mixes with mucus to thin it out.
"[Mucus] is something where if you have too little, it's bad because we can get infections. If you have too much, it can block your ability to breathe and also increase infection. So you want just the right amount."
Minimize exposure to allergens
Spending more time indoors during the pandemic means we are increasingly exposed to indoor dust, and since it is now spring, there's pollen everywhere. Both can set off allergies and asthma, and we need a functioning nose to get clean air into our chest airways.
Managing dust via cleaning and an air filter, and managing pollen allergies with medication, can help avoid having to rub or blow your nose to open it up.