In this article, I will talk about common respiratory diseases, their symptoms, causes, and how they can be avoided.
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases. It causes difficulty breathing through inflammation of the airways. Asthma symptoms include wheezing, dry cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
Asthma may be linked to environmental allergies. It usually starts in childhood and lasts throughout the entire life.
A good way to treat asthma is to use an inhaler when an asthma attack comes, and there are ways to reverse this disease.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a disease that causes breathlessness, or the inability to exhale normally. People with COPD typically cough up sputum (mucus from the lungs) in the morning.
COPD often affects cigarette smokers, and is hard to diagnose because it can be mistaken with the effects of aging. Treatment includes smoking cessation, bronchodilator therapy (medication that opens the airways) and pulmonary rehabilitation (special exercise for people with COPD).
Unlike asthma, COPD is not reversible, and grows worse over time, even if the patient stops smoking. According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Lung cancer is a serious disease which is hard to spot. It usually forms in the middle of the lungs as a tumor. These tumors stop the lungs from working properly.
The most common cause of lung disease is smoking, and other causes include being exposed to smoke, radon exposure, and radiation exposure from too many CTR scans.
Some common symptoms are coughing up blood, chronic coughing, changes in voice, and harsh breathing sounds. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic respiratory disease that makes thick and sticky mucus that clogs up tubes and passageways. The mucus can cause lung infections and obstructions in the pancreas, which prevents important enzymes from breaking down nutrients.
Symptoms of this disease include salty-tasting skin, chronic coughing, frequent lung infections, and poor growth rate.
Pneumonia is a very common lung disease caused by an infection in the air sacs in the lungs. The infections can be caused by bacteria, fungus, or viruses, but the disease is not too serious for most people.
The very young and very old are most at risk from pneumonia. People are more susceptible to pneumonia if they smoke.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that infects humans and animals. This disease is spread through the air. It is not serious for most people, but the elderly and the very young should take care.