Can you live with one lung is one of the most asked questions in the medical world today. So, if you are reading this post today then you are not alone because a lot of people like you really want to know if a person can live with one lung only or not.
The reason for this question is that medically it has been proven that lungs are one of the organs you can’t live without. So, you are not wrong if you want to find out what happens if a person has one lung removed.
Detailed research revealed that you can live with one lung. Medical history shows that you can have one lung removed and still enjoy your life to the fullest.
A typical example of a popular person that is living with one lung is Pope Francis. Report has it that his lung was removed when he was a teenager as a result of lung infection. The reason for that was that there was no effective antibiotic then to treat the infection.
How can you live with half a lung? It is simple, once one lung is removed the remaining lung inflate to occupy the space of the removed one. And the good news is that living with one lung does not in any way affect the life span and effectiveness of a patient.
Now that you have known that you can live with one lung, let’s take a deep look into the organ lungs. We will be discussing what is lungs, the health conditions of the lungs and the possible treatments of lungs.
What are the Lungs?
Simply put, Lungs are the respiratory organ in vertebrates and invertebrate animals situated inside the rib cage. It has the function of transferring oxygen into the blood and removing carbon dioxide from it. In other words, the lungs are spongy and air filled organ located on either side of the chest.
The only reason why your lungs will be removed is due to infections. Therefore, if you have not being infected then proceed to learn various infections of the lungs.
But if you have been infected and the solution is only removing one of it, then be rest assured you can live with one lung only and still remain healthy.
According to the latest medical research, there are 28 possible infections of the lungs. Let’s consider them in detail.
1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
This lungs problem is majorly caused by smoking. As the name applies, it is a damage to the lungs that results in difficulty to exhale. It causes shortness of breath or always gasping for air.
In this case, it is the delicate walls between the lungs are destroyed thereby trapping air in the lungs. The trapped air cannot be easily passed away, which makes breathing very difficult for the patient. Usually, emphysema is caused by smoking.
3. Chronic Bronchitis
This is regular and persistent coughing resulting from infection of the lungs. Usually, it is caused by smoking and it makes breathing very difficult.
4. Pulmonary Fibrosis
The gap between the lungs, which is the airways are damaged thereby making the lungs stiff. This causes shortness of breath.
This infection of the lungs is not easily recognized because it is usually mild. In fact, Sarcoidosis can affect all organs of the body. It is a tiny area of inflammation, which is only detected through X-ray
The bronchi, which are the lungs airways becomes inflamed and can equally contract, causing wheezing and shortness of breath. The major triggers of Asthma are allergies, viral infection and air pollution.
This is the bacteria infection that inflames the air sac in one or both lungs especially streptococcus pneumonia. The sac is filled with fluid or pus causing cough, fever, chills and breathing difficulty.
8. Acute Bronchitis
It is referred to as an acute infection because it is always severe. In this case, the lungs are infected by virus and serious cough is the symptom of this infection.
9. Pleural effusion
There is a tiny space between the lungs and the chest wall, which suppose to be dried all the time. But when this space is filled with fluid it leads to breathing problem, and that is referred to pleural effusion
10. Cystic Fibrosis
This particular type of lungs infection is genetically or hereditary. This medical disorder is as a result of mucus blocking the lungs airways. And the excess of it leads to repeated cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in one life span
I believe at this stage, we have provided an answer to your question, which is can you live with one lung? And still educating you on the type of infections that attack the lung and possible causes.
More on the lungs infections here.
Days are gone when outright removing the lung was the only effective way of treating lung infections. Today, with the advancement in medical technology there are various ways to treat lungs infection. Let’s consider some of the ways below:
This type of lung treatment is usually used in a serious lung condition. It entails carrying out a surgery that enters the chest wall to clear the airways and drain off unwanted fluid
2. Video-Assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS)
This is using an endoscope to diagnose and treats lungs infection. The help of a camera attached at one end gives a clear view of the problem at ease. In other sense, it is a video assisted thorascopic surgery.
This is the use of medicines that specifically meant to kill bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics are used to treat lungs infection such as pneumonia and other bacteria causing infections.
Most lungs infections affect the airways which make breathing very difficult. Therefore, one of the first treatment is to temporarily clear the airways using inhalers. The use of inhalers reduces wheezing and shortness of breath in people with asthma or COPD
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Can You Live With One Lung?- Wrap up
Obviously, we have done justice to the question, can you live with one lung? So, if your health condition has degenerated to the point of considering removing one of your lungs don’t bother much. You can still leave an almost perfect life with one lung without restriction on what to eat and what to do.