Lung Diseases

  • What is Asthma? Understanding Asthma

    As asthma is a common disease, most people are aware that it is a condition that affects the lungs. Asthma is a chronic illness—once a person has it, they will have it throughout their life, through periods of remission where they are asymptomatic do occur.

    The main symptoms of asthma are coughing, chest tightness, wheezing (a whistling sound when exhaling), and dyspnea—also known as shortness of breath.

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  • What is Acute Bronchitis? Understanding Acute Bronchitis

    If you’ve experienced acute bronchitis in the past, you’re not alone: 10 million Americans visit a doctor for symptoms diagnosed as acute bronchitis (more often simply known as “bronchitis”) each year. [1] Most often, acute bronchitis becomes apparent with a cough, caused by inflammation of the airways. [2] Most often, acute bronchitis is caused by a viral infection like a cold or flu, though sometimes it is caused by a bacterial infection or exposure to another irritant, like chemicals. [3]

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  • The Air Quality Index - Why is it Important?

    The American Lung Association recently released their “State of the Air” 2017 findings and there are some things you’ll want to know especially if you suffer from COPD or other lung and breathing related illnesses.

    Each year, the American Lung Association reviews their State of the Air findings for every state in the U.S.

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  • Treating Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Without Drugs

    If you've had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis since before October of 2014, then you're probably familiar with the ways to treat it that doesn't involve pharmaceuticals. If you've recently been diagnosed with IPF, then you might not be aware of the non-pharmacological ways of lessening the symptoms of this disease.

    IPF is the name given to the condition that causes deep tissue in the lungs to thicken, making it harder to bring enough oxygen to the bloodstream. Not to be confused with emphysema, IPF isn't found to be mostly caused by smoking.

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  • Study Finds Smokers May Have Undiagnosed Chronic Lung Disease

    A study published on June 22nd in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal found that a number of smokers who may have COPD is more significant than previously thought. Due to the nature of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease many people in its beginning stages do not realize that they have it. Usually, the disease does not become apparent until its apparent symptoms such as shortness of breath or coughing cannot be ignored.

    According to this study, conducted at National Jewish Health in Denver, around 1 million smokers in the United States already have the beginning stage of COPD, even though a lung function test may find normal lung function.

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  • The Difference Between COPD and Asthma

    Often, treatments developed for asthma can be used for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and treatments used for COPD can be used for asthma—because asthma and COPD are two different diseases, although, with similar symptoms, this may seem a bit perplexing. However, researchers have determined that these two lung diseases have many aspects in common.

    Asthma and COPD remain two separate diseases with distinct characteristics and approaches to treatment, but an understanding of both diseases has helped us further our understanding.

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  • Staying Safe in the Summer Heat with Respiratory Problems

    Summer can be a wonderful time of year, with family barbeques and outdoor fun, but it can also be dangerous if you have a chronic lung disease, like COPD or asthma. Just like the extreme cold can trigger an exacerbation of your lung disease, so can extreme heat and humidity during the warm months of the year.

    If you know what triggers a flare-up for you, you know what to watch out for, and what to do if you start to have trouble breathing. You don't need to let them ruin your summer, though! With a few precautions, you can stay safe and still have fun doing all the things you like to do during the lovely summer months.

    Just as a reminder for the hottest days coming up, here is a list of things that are known to be dangerous for people with chronic lung diseases, and what you can do to stay safe.

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  • What is Hypoxia?

    The word hypoxia means "low oxygen". To put in other words, hypoxia is the reduced supply or availability of oxygen to the body tissues. Hypoxia can be generalized, affecting the whole body or it can be localized, confined to one part or region of the body. What makes hypoxia so dangerous is its ability to permanently damage body organs, like the brain. That’s because cells require an uninterrupted supply of oxygen to thrive. Once they lose that, they start to wither.

    To understand hypoxia, you must know a little about how oxygen is supplied to different body parts. Our lungs are the main sites for gaseous exchange in the body. Each lung is composed of a huge number of tiny air pockets or sacs called "alveoli", which are covered with extremely small blood vessels called the capillaries. When air is inhaled into the lungs, the oxygen present in it moves through the walls of alveoli into the blood present in the capillaries and from there into the blood circulation. From here onwards, oxygen is transported to the tissues of body through the hemoglobin (a protein) in red blood cells. Once hemoglobin takes oxygen to the target tissues, oxygen detaches itself from hemoglobin and is utilized by body tissues.

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  • World Pneumonia Day - November 12th, 2014

    World pneumonia day may have come and gone, but it's something that should definitely be talked about. During the winter months, pneumonia can be a really danger to anyone, but especially to those with compromised immune systems and chronic lung diseases. November 12th is World Pneumonia Day, as named by the American Lung Association. Pneumonia is actually one of the leading causes of death worldwide, according to the American Lung Association.

    If you are over the age of 55 or have a chronic lung disease, it's recommended that you get a pneumonia vaccine. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is the most common, and given to adults between the ages of 19 and 64 with medical conditions, like asthma, COPD and certain kidney diseases. You would only need to get it every 5 years if your doctor sees the need for it.

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  • Palliative Care and How it Benefits Anyone with Chronic Illness

    When one part of our bodies gets sick, it's usually not confined to that part of the body. Everything in the body is connected in one way or another, which means everything, can be affected. If you have COPD, other parts of you can be affected, such as your heart, circulation, and even your mental state.

    If you've been diagnosed with a chronic illness or something like cancer, your body will go through some changes. If you have severe asthma, you will probably find yourself unable to exercise, which can cause weight gain and even make you have trouble sleeping. The fact is something serious like this can cause a chain reaction of other medical problems. If we know this, why not prevent them or treat them right away?

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