Pulmonary diseases, or otherwise known as lung diseases or respiratory disease, are types of sickness that hits the lungs and any part of the respiratory system. Alongside Cancer and Diabetes, it is also one of the most common worldwide medical conditions. Some of the leading causes of this lung disease are smoking, infections, genes, other forms of air pollution, such as radon or breathing in secondhand smoke.
Your lungs expand and relax a thousand times in a day to bring in oxygen and take out carbon dioxide. If you’re not mindful of your lifestyle and environment, it would take a toll on your lungs.
Medical experts always remind about the pitfalls of smoking to keep people from inflicting damage to their lungs. You are also advised to wear a face mask when going to a busy and polluted city. All these admonitions by Pulmonologists are for your good and, most especially, your lungs.
Pulmonary diseases are not only about asthma or coughing. There are various types that you must be aware of to safeguard your lungs. For your guidance, here are the five different types of pulmonary diseases.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
A long-term lung disease, COPD is mainly caused by smoking or inhaling toxic substances and pollutants. When you’re suffering from COPD, you’ll experience difficulty breathing since your lungs are inflamed and damaged from the harmful substances you inhaled. There are two kinds of COPD: emphysema and bronchitis.
The common symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath and wheezing. Those with chronic bronchitis are more likely to experience chest tightness, frequent coughing, and mucus excretion.
The positive side is that COPD can be prevented and cured if you are willing to commit to long-term treatments and drastic lifestyle changes.
One of the most common types of pulmonary disease is Asthma. It is a chronic pulmonary disorder where your interior airway walls will swell and constrict, mainly when triggered by inhaled particles from the air. Thus, it will result in breathing difficulties.
Some of the “asthma triggers” that affected people must be aware of include dust, allergens, pollution, too much stress, and too much physical activity. Symptoms of Asthma include chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Asthma is lifelong, incurable, and can even be a life-threatening disease if not treated properly. However, you can still live a happy and normal life if you know how to manage your Asthma and are aware of your dos and don’ts that could trigger it at any time.
Pneumonia is a viral lung infection. When bacteria or viruses grow inside your lungs, your air sacs will be filled with fluid and water, making it difficult for the oxygen to flow in and out. When promptly treated, you can safely recover from this disease in a few weeks. However, when left untreated, it can be life-threatening.
Anyone can be afflicted with this disease but it occurs mostly among frequent smokers, those with weak immune systems, or sufferers of another illness. The most common chronic pneumonia symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, lasting fever, and coughing up blood.
Sinusitis is another well-known pulmonary condition that is mostly considered as “allergies” by many. Sinusitis occurs when your paranasal sinuses are inflamed and triggered due to allergens or other airborne bacterial infections. Once the inflammation occurs, the sinus opening is blocked, preventing the fluid from draining and resulting in you having a stuffed up or runny nose.
Lots of people are prone to this condition. Symptoms for sinusitis include facial pain, loss of smell, cough, or fever. If you’re suffering from this condition, doctors would usually recommend antibiotics to alleviate symptoms after 10 to 14 days.
Another common and overwhelming disease that petrifies almost everyone is lung cancer. This is due to abnormal growth in the lung cells that turns into tumors. Like other cancer cells, it will then spread into the entire body.
Lung cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death, as most people afflicted with it took a long time before discovering its presence. Symptoms of lung cancer are often mistaken for something else.
Such symptoms include coughing up blood, sudden weight loss, and shortness of breath. People prone to lung cancer are smokers, have a family history of the disease, and are frequently exposed to toxic chemicals.
The severity of lung cancer and the intensity of the treatment varies depending on the time it’s discovered. The longer the delay in finding out, the harder the treatment.
Your pulmonary health is vital to keeping oxygen flowing in your body. Like any other body part, your lungs need special attention. There are plenty of ways for you to protect your lungs, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, sufficient hydration, and most especially, avoidance of smoking or secondhand smoke. Following these will lessen your odds of getting pulmonary diseases.