Commonly known as lung disease as well, a respiratory disease an be one of a group of respiratory malfunctions found in people of all ages. Although pollution, low immunity and contamination are common triggers of respiratory diseases, a smoking habit, genetics, stress and recurring infection due to unhealthy living can also cause respiratory diseases for some people.
There are six major respiratory complications. These are:
• Respiratory illness due to infection in the airways
• Respiratory diseases affecting air sacs
• Respiratory diseases affecting the interstitium- the tissue and area around the lungs’ air sacs
• Respiratory diseases affecting blood vessels
• Respiratory diseases affecting pleura.
• Respiratory diseases affecting chest wall.
Let’s take a quick look at the diseases caused due to problems with the respiratory system.
1. Respiratory illness that involves the airways
The windpipes or trachea branch out into smaller tubes and then into netlike structures that carry the air that we inhale to the furthest corners of the lungs and other airways. Some respiratory diseases affect airways.
• When the airways are found to be swollen, they may cause spasms, wheezing and acute shortness of breath. This condition is called Asthma. Respiratory infection, allergies and irritation caused by pollution and smoke may initiate bouts of asthma.
• When the lungs do not work normally, it makes breathing difficult. This condition is called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
• Chronic bronchitis is a form of COPD typically known for causing a chronic cough.
• Acute Bronchitis is a kind of viral infection that affects the airways.
• Cystic Fibrosis is caused when the body does an inadequate job clearing mucus from the bronchii, and the accumulated layers of mucus induce lung infections.
2. Respiratory diseases affecting air sacs
Some lung diseases disturb the air sacs, and ultimately, the alveoli are found to be affected. Some of the common lung diseases here are:
• Pneumonia: A bacterial infection of the alveoli. If not treated properly, it my turn fatal.
• Caused by bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a kind of recurring pneumonia and it can be fatal.
• Emphysema is caused by limited airflow to air sacs causing difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.
• Pulmonary edema may cause fluid leaks into the air sacs. It induces the chance of heart failure and can cause severe damage to the lungs.
• Acute respiratory distress syndrome is caused by severe lung infections due to trauma to the lungs.
• Lung cancer is seen in many forms and this disease commonly affects the central portion of the lungs. Depending on the infection area, complications and the age group that the patient falls in treatment is decided.
• Pneumoconiosis is caused by long term lung injury and at times can be fatal.
There is a dire need in the field of respiratory therapy for dedicated individuals to make a career of helping those with these respiratory diseases. If you are someone you know is looking into respiratory therapist programs or are interested in further information, check out the many sources online. Heavy needs in this area are driving up incomes so a respiratory therapist salary will most likely make it very inviting for those looking to expand or start a career in this field. Definitely look into it….it’s rewarding in more ways than one.
3. Respiratory diseases affecting Interstitium
Interstitium is the delicate membrane between air sacs. Various types of respiratory diseases are caused due to infection in Interstitium.
• Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a group of diseases like Sarcoidosis, different types of auto immune disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
• When interstitium gets affected, it is called pulmonary and Pneumonias edema.
4. Respiratory diseases upsetting blood vessels,
Due to inadequate supply of oxygen in blood vessels, people may suffer from respiratory diseases. These are:
• Pulmonary embolism (PE): Caused by a blood clot traveling within blood stream and lodging in an artery.
• Pulmonary hypertension is caused by different conditions; however, no typical trigger has been noticed.
5. Respiratory diseases that disturb the pleura.
Respiratory issues may create irritation in the pleura. Some of the common pleura-related respiratory issues are:
• Pleural Effusion: This causes accumulation of fluid between lung and chest wall.
• Pneumothorax: This causes unwanted air between the lungs and chest wall and it calls for immediate surgery.
• Mesothelioma: This is the lung cancer caused by asbestos. It can cause respiratory complications.
6. Respiratory diseases disturbing chest wall.
Some respiratory diseases affect the breathing capacity of affected patients. Common respiratory diseases of this category are:
• Obesity hypoventilation syndrome: This condition puts extra pressure on the heart and may cause serious breathing problems.
• Neuromuscular disorders can cause poor function of the nerves that can lead to extreme irritation and respiratory discomfort for patients.
Regular exercise, diet and visiting your doctor regularly are the easiest ways to prevent or get rid of a respiratory disease.