There’s a common perception among many smokers that the lungs will not heal at all once they stop smoking. While your lungs will never be as healthy as they were before you started smoking, healing may take place in some respiratory tissue long-term, and you may also see significant improvements in lung function once you stop smoking.
2 Ways Your Lungs May Improve After Smoking
Our Lung Health Institute (LHI) health care team knows smoking causes significant damage to lung tissue. We also know that continued damage from smoking increases your risk of developing a chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, we also know quitting smoking may result in some repairs taking place in your respiratory system and may also lead to increases in your lung function.
One example of a respiratory structure that can repair itself once you quit smoking is cilia. Cilia are small hairs in your trachea, and they have two jobs. These jobs are to protect the lungs from harmful particles and assist in removing debris and mucus from the lungs. Cilia are typically damaged by the tar in cigarettes, but once you stop smoking, regrow within 6 to 9 months and begin doing its jobs again.
Quitting smoking may also lead to massive increases in your forced expiratory volume (FEV1), which is a measure of how well your lungs are functioning. In fact, many former smokers see their FEV1 levels nearly double within 6 weeks of quitting, and these levels may continue to improve as time goes on. Even people who already had mild to moderate COPD before quitting saw improvements in their FEV1 levels.
These 2 improvements are an indication there will be some level of healing in your lungs, even though they may never heal completely.
LHI Can Help You Treat Your Chronic Lung Disease
In addition to quitting smoking, our health care team at LHI can help you find ways to treat your chronic lung disease. For instance, we offer three Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™, plans, and these plans may help train your body to use healthy fats to fight inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
We also offer a natural and minimally invasive treatment option called cellular therapy. This is a procedure that uses concentrated platelets and cells from a small blood sample to target lung disease. The platelets release healing properties that, when combined with proteins, growth factors and other helpful cells found in your blood, may help to heal damaged tissue and reduce inﬂammation in your lungs.
Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.