Various Lung Problems

Lungs are important. We use them for breathing, which allows us to go shopping.

What are some of the bad things that can happen to our lungs?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the term used to describe long term conditions affecting the lungs which cause breathing difficulties. COPD is mainly caused by smoking cigarettes. People with COPD can have the conditions chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic bronchitis affects the bronchi and emphysema affects the alveoli.

The bronchi are the large tubes, or airways in the lungs. Air or oxygen flows through these tubes. The bronchi branch and narrow into tubes called bronchioles. The bronchioles continue to branch and end with tiny air sacs called alveoli. In healthy lungs, oxygen is taken into the body through the bronchi and passes into the blood via the alveoli.

Chronic bronchitis affects the lining of the bronchi. The lining becomes irritated and inflamed. It produces excess mucus which blocks the airways. Emphysema damages the alveoli and the walls break down. The effects of COPD mean less oxygen passes into the blood. COPD leads to breathing difficulties, wheezing and coughing.

So...What the heck is ASTHMA?

Remember how everyone used to have it?

Asthma is a lung disease that inflames and narrows your airways. Normally, as you inhale air moves freely through your trachea, or windpipe then through large tubes called bronchi smaller tubes called bronchioles and finally into tiny sacs called alveoli. Small blood vessels, called capillaries, surround your alveoli.

Oxygen from the air you breathe passes into your capillaries then carbon dioxide from your body passes out of your capillaries into your alveoli so that your lungs can get rid of it when you exhale. Your bronchioles expand when the air is warm, moist, and free of irritants and allergy causing substances called allergens.

When air is cold or dry, or contains irritants or allergens, your bronchioles contract. If you have asthma, your airways are frequently inflamed and swollen. Certain substances can cause you are inflamed airways to overreact even more, resulting in an asthma attack.

Triggers of asthma attacks are slightly different for everyone, but usually include: outdoor irritants and allergens, such as pollen smoke pollution and cold weather indoor irritants and allergens, such as mold pet dander dust mites and cockroach droppings food allergens, such as fish shellfish eggs peanuts and soy and conditions, such as respiratory infections stress strong emotions and exercise.

The symptoms of an asthma attack include: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in your chest. During an asthma attack (also known as a bronchospasm) the muscles around your airways tighten and the airway wall becomes more swollen. Your airways also produce thick mucus that narrows them even more making it hard for you to breathe.

If you have asthma, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation in your airways, constriction of the muscles surrounding your airways, or mucous secretion in your airways. During an asthma attack you may need to use a short-acting rescue medication called a bronchodilator. This medication causes your airway muscles to relax quickly and provide symptom relief within minutes..Even in Miami Florida.

Since there is no cure for asthma, the goal is to prevent you from having asthma attacks by using long-acting, anti-inflammatory control medications. If you take them every day, they will reduce the inflammation of your airways making them less sensitive to triggers of asthma attacks. Even in New York City. Which used to be one of the nicest places on earth.

And of course there is mesothelioma, a terrible lung disease that hits you years after you have unknowingly breathed asbestos into your lungs. Probably while you were sitting nine to five in an office doing accountancy work.