A majority of people in the world suffer from one kind or another lung disease. In a country like India, where pollution is very high, people often develop lung disease in the early stages of their lives. Apart from pollution, genes, infections, and smoking can also cause various types of lung disease. Lungs are a part of a large complex system in the body called the respiratory system. Lungs expand and relax to bring in a large amount of oxygen and send out a large amount of carbon dioxide. There are various lung disease types that can develop due to a number of reasons. Educating yourself about lung disease symptoms and lung disease causes can actually help you in the prevention of these diseases. 

Here is a list of some lung disease types, their symptoms, causes, and treatment options

1. Asthma

Asthma is so common that almost every person knows this lung disease name. The most common symptoms of this lung disease are breath shortness, pain in the chest, and wheezing while you sleep. If it is not treated at the right time, these lung disease symptoms get severe. One might even start feeling difficulty in breathing. 

Causes of asthma are:

The exact lung disease causes of asthma are not clear to doctors yet. However, there are certain factors that can trigger asthma.

Symptoms of Asthma are:

  1. Exposure to allergens like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores
  2. Exposure to cold air or smoke
  3. Strenuous physical activities
  4. Certain medicines

Treatment Options for Asthma are:

The first thing you have to do after the diagnosis of this disease is a Pulmonologist Consultation. Your doctor might provide you with the following lung disease treatment options:

  1. Medications (Both long-term asthma control medications and quick-relief medications)
  2. Bronchial Thermoplasty

2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Commonly known as COPD, this lung disease is actually a group of medical conditions related to the lungs. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two such conditions that happen in COPD. A person suffering from COPD can sometimes even have both these conditions at the same time. Some common symptoms of lung disease are breath shortness (mostly after heavy exercise), recurrent cough, fatigue, wheezing, weight loss, frequent colds, etc.

Causes of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are:

Smoking and aging are the most common causes of this lung disease. Apart from that, second-hand smoke, exposure to certain fumes or chemicals, genetic predisposition, and deficiency of certain proteins can also become lung disease causes.

Treatment Options for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are :

Generally, treatment can ease the symptoms of COPD and slow down its progression. If not treated at the right time, or in certain developed complications, you might require a urologist consultation or internal medicine consultation. A few common treatment options are:

  1. Oxygen therapy
  2. Surgery
  3. Lifestyle changes
  4. Medications for COPD
  5. Vaccines

3. Emphysema

This is another lung disease name that is known by most people. Most people who are suffering from this lung disease also develop chronic bronchitis. People often do not notice the symptoms of emphysema for many years. The main symptoms of lung disease are shortness of breath and persistent cough. Since both symptoms increase gradually, they often do not get detected. Once these symptoms start interfering with your day-to-day activities, you start noticing these symptoms. 

Causes of Emphysema are:

Irritants that are airborne are mostly the main cause of this lung disease. Air pollution, dust, fumes, air pollution, and tobacco smoke can cause emphysema. In some cases, the deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin protein can cause emphysema. This protein actually protects the elastic structures of your lungs from damage. 

Treatment Options for Emphysema are:

The type of treatment for lung disease to be used here depends on the severity of your symptoms. Apart from a pulmonologist, your treatment might require senior surgeon consultation and gastroenterologist consultation. The most common treatment options for emphysema are:

  1. Medications including bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, and antibiotics
  2. Therapy including pulmonary rehabilitation and nutrition therapy
  3. Supplemental oxygen
  4. Surgery including lung volume reduction surgery and lung transplant

4. Acute Bronchitis

This lung disease involves inflammation and swelling of structures called bronchial tubes. These are the tubes that are responsible for carrying air to our lungs. There is another type of bronchitis called chronic bronchitis. It is different from acute bronchitis in a way that it is recurring. A few common symptoms of acute bronchitis are chest congestion, cough, breath shortness, wheezing, chills, and fever.

Causes of Acute Bronchitis are:

The causes of acute bronchitis are similar to that of cold or flu. The same viruses can cause inflammation of bronchial tubes. Other than that, certain bacteria can also cause acute bronchitis. Once these foreign bodies engage your body in fighting against them, bronchial tubes get inflamed and that leads to the secretion of mucus and breath shortness.

Treatment Options for Acute Bronchitis are:

Generally, acute bronchitis gets treated on its own without any medical intervention. However, there are also treatment options like:

  1. Getting rest and plenty of water
  2. Over-the-counter pain relievers
  3. Humidifier or steam

5. Pneumonia

Another common lung disease, pneumonia involves inflammation of air sacs. The air sacs of either one or both lungs might get filled with pus or fluid in pneumonia. Some people suffer from very mild pneumonia, while for others, this condition can pose a threat to their life. The commonly experienced symptoms of lung disease are a pain in the chest, confusion, cough, fatigue, sweating, nausea, vomiting, breath shortness, etc.

Cause of Pneumonia are:

There are a number of germ types that can cause this medical condition. Usually, bacteria and viruses present in the air become the cause. These germs can be acquired from the community or even hospitals. Certain fungus strains can also lead to the development of pneumonia in the human body.

Treatment Options for Pneumonia are:

There are different types of medications available for the treatment of pneumonia. The type of medications prescribed by the doctor depends on the cause of the infections and the severity. Other factors like age and general health are also considered in this. Antibiotics, cough medicines, and pain relievers are given to prevent further complications.

The Takeaway

There are many types of lung diseases and educating yourself about them can prove to be very helpful. Once you start experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, try to get a consultation from a medical expert as soon as possible. Detecting a lung disease at an early stage can help you in controlling and treating it later.

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July 28, 2022

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