General Question

TROLL's avatar

Why is it not possible to clean a persons lungs?

Asked by TROLL (378points) May 11th, 2009

Apparently if you abstainfrom smoking,after 20 years your lungs are tar free.2009 now,is it beyond the realms to get your lungs cleaned.

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9 Answers

mcbealer's avatar

It has to do with the fragility of the alveoli.
<——- former smokin gnome

It would be so nice to have clean, healthy pink lungs again!

aprilsimnel's avatar

<———————- Ex-smoking kitten.
Wouldn’t it, though, @mcbealer, wouldn’t it?

Alveoli is tissue-thin. Resilient, yes, but how would they be cleaned? I imagine that the damage is more chemical in nature, as well, and the tar messes with the structure of the cells themselves. How would one wash living tissue cells while they’re in use?

Jeruba's avatar

The literature I’ve seen, from a doctor’s office, said 17 years. I was very pleased to pass that mark.

It’s not possible to escape the consequences of all our choices.

mcbealer's avatar

@ Jeruba ~ I lurve that life quote!! Is it yours? (I think I’ll be quoting that one to my teenager often…)

Jeruba's avatar

Straight off the top of my head, @mcbealer. But it’s a life lesson gleaned from observation and long experience. Whether it’s the idea that you can do whatever you want and just confess and apologize later or that you can always pay somebody else to save you from the results of your misdeeds, it’s a misguided notion. It might seem like you can get away with it to a point, but in the long run you can’t.

TROLL's avatar

@Jeruba that is an unbelievable answer…....luuuuurvvvv

DarkScribe's avatar

Well, getting them out isn’t too difficult, and running them through the heavy duty cycle on the washing machine is straightforward, it is getting them back in that’s hard.

It isn’t just a matter of removing foreign matter, it is of repairing damage caused by that foreign material. I was told that the amount of time required to reach the “never have smoked” stage depended fully on your general fitness and lifestyle. I am a diver and have regular lung capacity and efficiency tests and found that it only took about three years from when I gave up smoking for my lungs to reach the efficiency that was regarded as normal in a non-smoker. I gave up in my late twenties – I am in my mid-fifties now. I also eat well, low carb (NOT Atkins…) not too high a calorie intake and exercise daily. That might have something to do with my case.

arnbev959's avatar

They say that after such and such amount of time an ex smoker’s lungs heal so that they are almost as healthy as a non smoker. How does this healing process work? (The answer to this may lead to a better answer of this question.)

TROLL's avatar

@petethepothead indeed good point.

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