5 Common Lung Diseases: Causes, Prevention & Treatment. - Hotrussianass
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5 Common Lung Diseases: Causes, Prevention & Treatment.

According to healthline, the lungs are one of the most crucial organs in your body since they facilitate breathing, aid in oxygen absorption, and deliver oxygen to the heart. As they assist in removing carbon dioxide and other potentially hazardous gases from your body, the lungs also function as a vacuum cleaner.

Like any other organ, the lungs are susceptible to illness and significant medical conditions that can harm them. For your knowledge, we’ve included the top five lung disorders along with their causes, symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and/or prevention.

1. Asthma

Children and adults can both develop asthma, a chronic, non-communicable respiratory condition. When you have asthma, your airways swell, narrow, and accumulate mucus, as per healthline.

Causes of asthma

There is no known cause for asthma, and each person may experience it for a different reason. The removal of any hazardous foreign substances from your lungs by your immune system is what causes asthma, according to healthline.

A number of factors can trigger asthma attacks. You should be aware of the triggers if you or a loved one has asthma. Once you are aware of the potential causes of an asthma attack, you can take precautions to avoid them or, if they do occur, manage them. Here is a list of potential triggers for an asthma attack:

Allergies- a condition in which you become hypersensitive to any substance like any specific foods or allergens

Viral or bacterial infection (cold or flu)

Environmental factors like pollen, dust, pollution, and cockroaches

Strenuous physical activities and high-impact sports

Smoking

Stress

Symptoms of asthma

Breathing problems & shortness of breath

Whistle type sound while breathing (wheezing)

Pain or pressure in the chest

Continuous coughing especially during the night and early mornings

Extreme tiredness

Concentration problems

Asthma diagnosis

FeNO test: It is a simple test in which the diagnostician will ask you to blow into a machine to measure the nitric oxide levels in your lungs. The presence of nitric oxide is a tell-tale sign of lungs inflammation.

Spirometry: Another blow-in-the-machine asthma test, spirometry determines the oxygen holding capacity of your lungs.

Prevention and treatment of asthma

Although asthma does not have a definitive cure, it may be managed with prescription medication and avoiding asthma triggers. Here are a few tips that may help you control the condition:

Prevention

Identify what triggers your asthma and take measures to avoid it

Quit smoking

Lifestyle changes: A healthy diet and exercising regularly

Treatment

Using prescribed quick-relief inhalers. They help in relaxing the tightened muscles and ease the breathing process

Breathing exercises. This will increase your lung capacity and improve your respiratory cycle

2. Lung cancer

According to healthline, the lungs’ unchecked cell division is what leads to lung cancer. It accounts for 9.3% of cancer deaths in India and is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women worldwide.

Causes of lung cancer

Smoking: Lung cancer is primarily brought on by smoking. It’s likely that the earlier you start, the longer you’ll smoke, and the higher your chance of developing cancer will be. On the other side, giving up the habit can reduce your risk of developing this frequently fatal kind of cancer.

Secondhand smoke: Also known as passive smoking – when a non-smoker inhales the cigarette smoke that the smoker exhales, it puts him/her at greater risk of lung damage.

Air pollution: Pollutant particles that come from fossil fuels or smoke and toxic air chemicals from industrial plants can also cause lung cancer.

Symptoms of lung cancer

In some cases, lung cancer can remain asymptomatic and can be identified only via lung cancer diagnosis. The following symptoms can present themselves if you are affected by lung cancer:

Pain or discomfort in your chest

Shortness of breath and trouble breathing

Coughing blood

Upper respiratory infections that cause hoarseness (when your voice sounds breathy)

Unwillingness to eat and unintended weight loss

Swollen face and neck veins

Lung cancer diagnosis

Image testing: This method includes CT scan, PET scan, MRI, and bone scan.

Biopsy: The doctor will collect tissue samples from your lungs by making a small incision to diagnose lung cancer.

Bronchoscopy: The doctor will insert a small and flexible pipe mounted with light and camera through your nose into your lungs. Post-which, the doctor will put instruments into the pipe to obtain fluid or tissue samples from your lungs for testing in the lab.

Prevention and treatment of lung cancer

To prevent yourself from lung cancer, do not smoke in the first place or quit immediately, and avoid secondhand or passive smoke. Dietary changes may also help manage the condition. Here are a few recommendations that may help you in the prevention and treatment of lung cancer:

Prevention

Quit smoking

Yoga

Breathing exercises

Lifestyle changes

Treatment

Treatments include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy

Acupuncture

Aromatherapy

Fruits like oranges, papaya, and carrots may help manage the condition

Green vegetables like spinach, beans, kale (gobhi), and folate enrich foods can also help manage the condition

3. Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a non-reversible condition in which you cough for an extended period of time. Because the bacterium never completely exits your body, this disease continues to recur. If you have been coughing for a long period, it might be a sign of chronic bronchitis.

According to healthline, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a group of diseases that include chronic bronchitis. It’s a lung illness that makes it difficult to breathe, and the condition worsens with time.

Causes of bronchitis

Tobacco smoking is the number one cause of chronic bronchitis

Passive smoking or secondhand smoking

Dust and allergies

Air pollution

Smoke from burning coal or chimney smoke from factories

Asthma and related complications

Symptoms of bronchitis

Continuous coughing with mucus

Whistle sound while breathing (wheezing)

Shortness of breath

Chest tightness

Chronic bronchitis diagnosis

The doctor will ask you about the symptoms or if you have a family history of chronic bronchitis

The doctor can also recommend additional tests like CT scan, X-ray, blood tests, or liver function test (LFT) to diagnose the condition

Prevention and treatment of chronic bronchitis

Prevention

Quit smoking and start living a healthy lifestyle

Avoid exposure to lung irritants like toxic fumes

Wear a mask

Stay away from secondhand or passive smoke

Treatment

Take prescribed medications to clear mucus

Undergo a lung reduction surgery to remove the affected area of the lungs (if recommended by the doctor)

Lung transplant (rare cases)

4. Pneumonia

According to healthline, pneumonia is a contagious illness that causes breathing issues by inflaming the air sacs in the lungs and filling them with fluid or pus. Antibiotics can be used to treat infections caused by fungus, bacteria, or viruses, and are an effective way to treat pneumonia.

Causes of pneumonia

Flu causing viruses

Cold causing viruses

RSV virus

Streptococcus pneumoniae and mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria

Symptoms of pneumonia

Cough with mucus

Chest pain while coughing or breathing

Fever

Loss of hunger

Headache, vomiting, and nausea

Fast breathing or wheezing

Frequent episodes of sweat and chills

Pneumonia diagnosis

Chest X-ray

CT scan

Blood test

Sputum test (testing of your cough)

Measuring the oxygen level

Bronchoscopy

Prevention and treatment of pneumonia

Prevention

Quit smoking

Wash your hands regularly with soap

Cover your face when coughing or sneezing

Strengthen your immunity by maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Treatment

Oral antibiotics

Get vaccinated against pneumonia

Get flu vaccines

Get HIB vaccines

5. Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne communicable illness that is primarily caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) which not only affects your lungs but also the brain, spine, and kidneys. It can transmit by inhaling contagious aerosol droplets that travel from an infected person’s sneeze or cough.

Causes of tuberculosis

Living in a contaminated environment

Prolonged close contact with a TB infected person

Smoking (particularly chain-smoking)

Air pollution

Cancer

If you are a health care worker and have exposure to TB samples

Poor health and hygiene

Weak immune system

Symptoms of tuberculosis

Coughing for three weeks or longer

Chest pain when laughing, breathing, coughing, and sneezing

Fever and chills

Night sweats

Unexpected weight loss

Coughing mucus or blood

Weakness, unwillingness to eat, and fatigue

Tuberculosis diagnosis

CT scan, MRI scan, and ultrasound

Endoscopy and laparoscopy

Urine and blood test

Lung biopsy

Prevention and treatment of tuberculosis

Prevention

Wash your hands regularly

Cover your face while coughing or sneezing

Avoid close contact with infected persons

Quit smoking

Treatment

Seek medical attention and take medication as prescribed

Self-isolate if you experience the symptoms

Live in a room with cross ventilation

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