Pulmonary Diseases

What are Pulmonary Diseases?

Pulmonary diseases refer to the diseases and disorders that affect the structures of the lung or otherwise impair the functions of the pulmonary system. These include a range of conditions, from the common cold to the more serious chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They can also include asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, lung infections, and emphysema.

The most common signs and symptoms of pulmonary disease can include: difficulty in breathing, wheezing, chest pain, cough, fatigue, and increased mucus production.

Types of Pulmonary Disease

There are many types of pulmonary diseases, some of which are listed below:

  • Asthma –inflammation of the airways, resulting in breathing difficulties
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) –chronic disease of the lungs, usually caused by smoking
  • Emphysema –progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to take a breath
  • Pneumonia –inflammatory condition of the lungs, usually caused by bacterial or viral infection
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis –progressive lung disease characterized by scarring of the lungs
  • Cystic Fibrosis –genetic disorder which causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs

Treatment of Pulmonary Disease

The treatment of pulmonary disease depends on the specific disease and its severity. Treatment can involve medications, oxygen therapy, surgery, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, a lung transplant may be necessary.

Prevention of Pulmonary Disease

In many cases, pulmonary diseases can be prevented or at least the risk can be reduced. Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent the development of many forms of pulmonary disease. These include things like stopping smoking, avoiding second-hand smoke, adhering to preventive health care, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.