Chronic respiratory diseases, also known as respiratory diseases, result from prolonged exposure to irritants that may be either external or internal in nature. There are two types of respiratory disease – acute and chronic. Acute respiratory disorders are those that manifest in the short term. They are usually associated with allergies, viral infections, or viral diseases (such as cold or flu). On the other hand, chronic respiratory disorders manifest over time and may result in serious illnesses over a long period of time.
Two of the commonest chronic respiratory diseases are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is a condition that causes the restriction of oxygen supply to the tissues of the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is a persistent inflammation of the air passages and related organs and includes chronic coughing, sputum production, wheezing, chest pains, and difficulty breathing. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is an umbrella term that encompasses chronic lung disorders that lead to restricted breathing. Those diagnosed with COPD will experience shortness of breath on several occasions and will need help to breathe normally. Also, they will have difficulty breathing on occasion, even if there is no ongoing difficulty.
Many patients who suffer from chronic bronchitis and other respiratory diseases will often see their doctor or fall sick close to the holidays (such as Thanksgiving) because of their ongoing cough or cold. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing or your chest seems tender when you are resting, it may be wise to visit your doctor or a medical professional for further evaluation. The treatment options available for this type of illness and respiratory disease often depend on your condition’s severity and how long you have been experiencing symptoms. Below are some of the more common treatments for COPD.
Cough. Among the most common respiratory diseases in the United States, cough is the result of mucus getting back into the lungs. As the name implies, severe coughs can be life-threatening and may require hospitalization. Two of the more common respiratory diseases that involve coughing are laryngitis and pneumonia.
Difficulty Breathing. This is another common respiratory disease symptom that is linked to a weak airway or narrowed airways. Airway narrowing and inflammation cause the airways to become inflamed and narrow, making it difficult to breathe. When the airways narrow, the lungs are deprived of oxygen. When inflammation in the lungs occurs, symptoms of chronic bronchitis can occur.
Shortness of Breath. Shortness of breath can result from many different factors, including viral infections, smoking, lung congestion, heart disease, COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), emphysema, and diabetes. Heart disease can cause shortness of breath due to a lack of oxygen to the lungs. The lungs become irritated when the heart pumps harder than normal. A person with emphysema has less energy than others and exhausts more air than others. These respiratory diseases collectively affect how a person breathes, affecting their ability to digest foods and release oxygen into the airways properly.
Fatigue. Not all respiratory disorders bring on fatigue. Fatigue is a common symptom among children with chronic lung disease because of breathing difficulty and among elderly individuals because of diminished oxygenation to their tissues.
Chronic lung disease causes several other problems besides these three listed above. Changes in body weight, altered sex hormones, premature aging, and susceptibility to infection all put people at risk for developing these three respiratory disorders. They are also among the most widespread chronic lung disease conditions. These diseases affect an estimated 4 million Americans alone. All of these illnesses and disorders need to be addressed and treated as soon as possible.