Patient Awareness

Effects Of Lung Health On The Heart

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A human body can only work efficiently if all the organs work in harmony with each other and stay healthy. Each system supports the other, and this ensures that the body works smoothly. The same principle applies to the lungs and heart.

The health of our lungs is a crucial factor in determining the health of our heart. Certain conditions and habits cause damage to the lungs and eventually lead to improper functioning of the heart:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease aka COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a term used to describe lung diseases such as emphysema, and bronchitis. Its symptoms include breathlessness, coughing, and feeling of tightness or heaviness in the chest.

Though COPD and heart failure are two different conditions, both can produce very similar symptoms. The presence of COPD is known to influence left-sided heart failure. This is due to the reason that COPD reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This, in turn, strains the heart and can lead to heart failure.

If a person is already suffering from a heart condition, the medication used to treat the same could interfere with the functioning of the lungs. For instance, drugs such as Lopressor (prescribed to heart patients) could constrict the muscles around the respiratory system and make it difficult to breathe comfortably.

Inversely, the medication used to treat COPD (bronchodilators) can increase the heart rate and cause palpitations.

Smoking

It is a known fact that smoking causes significant damage to the lungs. Since it causes degeneration of the lung tissue, the oxygen availability to the heart decreases.

It increases the risk of heart failure and stroke. This is because the carbon monoxide present in tobacco reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This puts a significant amount of stress on the heart muscles, which can lead to heart failure in the long run. This, in turn, causes the breathing rate and blood pressure to increase.

Smoking also contributes to developing COPD, and both of these are potent risk factors for heart diseases.

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