Lung Disease

Lung disease is any disease or disorder that occurs in the lungs or that causes the lungs to not work properly. There are three main types of lung disease which are Airway diseases, Lung tissue diseases and Lung Circulation Disease. The more diseases which are related to lungs are Asthma, Atelectasis, Bronchitis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Emphysema, Lung cancer, Pneumonia, and Pulmonary edema etc.

Reasons, occurrence and Risk Factors

A risk factor can be anything that increases the chance of developing a disease like lung cancer. It is also possible that patients develop lung cancer without having any risk factors but there are some prominent reasons behind lung diseases are:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Second hand tobacco smoke
  • Other indoor air pollutants
  • Outdoor air pollutants
  • Allergens
  • Occupational agents
  • Environmental Factors
  • Exposure to Viruses and Bacteria
  • Radiation treatments
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Systemic lupus erythematous
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Age
  • Exposure to other environmental toxins

Lung Disease Symptoms

The lungs are different from most of the other organs in your body because their delicate tissues are directly connected to the outside environment. Anything you breathe in can affect your lungs. Germs, tobacco smoke and other harmful substances can cause damage to your airways and threaten the lungs ability to work properly.

Lung disease seems to occur when an injury to your lungs. Some common signs of lung disease include:

  • Trouble in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling like you’re not getting enough air
  • A decreased ability to exercise
  • A cough that won’t go away
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Pain or discomfort when breathing in or out

Signs and Tests

  • Lung disease cannot be diagnosed simply on the basis of a medical history and physical examination. The number of diagnostic tests are used:
  • Chest X-Ray: The lung damage associated with many types of interstitial lung disease often shows up in characteristic patterns on chest X-rays.
  • CT Scans: A high-resolution CT scan can be particularly helpful in determining the extent of lung damage caused by lung disease.
  • Bronchoscopy: In this procedure, your doctor removes very small tissue samples generally no larger than the head of a pin using a small, flexible tube (bronchoscope) that’s passed through your mouth or nose into your lungs.
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage: In this procedure, your doctor injects salt water through a bronchoscope into a section of your lung, and then immediately suctions it out to find out the disease
  • Surgical Biopsy: During the procedure, surgical instruments and a small camera are inserted through two or three small incisions between your ribs. The camera allows your surgeon to view your lungs on a video monitor while removing tissue samples from your lungs.

Prevention

Each body has a natural defense system designed to protect the lungs. This works very well most of the time to keep out dirt and fight off germs. But there are some preventive measures which can reduce the risk of lung disease.

  • Quitting Smoking and Alcohol
  • Avoid Environmental Exposure
  • Get vaccinated on time
  • Following a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Washing your hands before eating with antiseptic soap

Lung Disease Treatment

Medications

Many people diagnosed with lung diseases are initially treated with a corticosteroid (prednisone), sometimes in combination with other drugs that suppress the immune system such as methotrexate or cyclosporine.

Surgery

Lung transplantation may be the last option for people with severe lung disease who haven’t benefited from other treatment options