Pulmonary Disorders or Lung Diseases: Lung Diseases Affecting the Airways and Air Sacs (Alveoli)

Pulmonary disorders is the abnormal conditions of the respiratory system. Pulmonary Disorders is often caused by the decrease or compression of air flow paths that prevent air flows in lungs or respiratory system pathways. People with Pulm

Updated: October 12, 2017

Pulmonary disorders is the abnormal conditions of the respiratory system.  Pulmonary Disorders is often caused by the decrease or compression of air flow paths that prevent air flows in lungs or respiratory system pathways. People with Pulmonary Disorders could have acute respiratory failures, like general anesthesia or infections.
Pulmonary disorders can be categorized into six parts. These are:

  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Airways
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Air Sacs (Alveoli)
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Interstitium
  • Lung Diseases Affecting Blood Vessels
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Pleura
  • Lung Diseases Affecting the Chest Wall

Lung Diseases Affecting the Airways:

The trachea or windpipe branches into tubes known as bronchi or airways. Again the bronchi branches to smaller tubes throughout the lungs. Diseases that affect the airways include:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD):

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung conditions that interfere with normal breathing, including chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, emphysema and alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency. These diseases cause a chronic, permanent and typically progressive obstruction of airflow in the lungs.

Bronchiectasis:

Bronchiectasis is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which mucus accumulates and sticks in the airways of the lungs, called bronchi. Because of this, the airways become infected and inflamed. Eventually it will leading to enlarged and weak airways, which allows more mucus and bacteria to accumulate.
It can be caused by lung injury from other conditions, including cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, pneumonia and immunodeficiency disorders, such as HIV and AIDS.

Chronic Bronchitis:

Chronic bronchitis is a common type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which the air passages in the lungs, called the bronchi  are repeatedly inflamed, leading to scarring of the bronchi walls. This will result in production of excessive amounts of sticky mucus which fill the bronchial tubes, causing it to become thickened and preventing normal airflow through the lungs.
Cigarette smoking is the most common risk factor for developing chronic bronchitis.

Emphysema:

In this form of COPD, lung damage allows air to be trapped in the lungs. When you breathe, air travels to your lungs through airways called bronchi. The bronchi divide into smaller airways, called bronchioles, eventually resulting in clusters of tiny air sacs, called alveoli.
Emphysema affects the walls of the millions of tiny air sacs in the lungs, which become inflamed and loose elasticity, causing the bronchioles to collapse. As a result, air becomes trapped in the air sacks, which become overstretched and may rupture the walls. This will greatly affect a person's ability to breathe normally.
The leading cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking. Other risks factors include air pollution, occupational exposure to dust and chemicals, frequent lower respiratory infections and second hand smoke. The genetic disorder alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency causes emphysema in  very rare cases.

Asthma:

In asthma, the airways are persistently inflamed, and may occasionally spasm, causing wheezing and shortness of breath. Allergies, infections, or pollution can trigger asthma's symptoms.

Acute bronchitis:

 A sudden infection of the airways, usually  caused by a virus.

Cystic fibrosis:

This is a genetic condition causing poor clearance of mucus from the bronchi. The accumulated mucus results in repeated lung infections.

Lung Diseases Affecting the Air Sacs (Alveoli):

When you breathe, air travels to your lungs through airways called bronchi. The bronchi divide into smaller airways, called bronchioles, eventually resulting in clusters of tiny air sacs, called alveoli. These air sacs make up most of the lung tissue. Lung diseases affecting the alveoli include:

Pneumonia:

An infection of the alveoli which is usually caused by bacteria.

Tuberculosis:

A slowly progressive pneumonia caused by bacteria known as mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Emphysema:

Damage to the fragile connections between alveoli will result in emphysema mostly caused by smoking. Emphysema also limits airflow, affecting the airways as well.

Pulmonary edema:

Fluid leaks out of the small blood vessels of the lung into the air sacs and the surrounding area. This can be caused by either heart failure and back pressure in the lungs' blood vessels or a direct injury to the lung.

Lung cancer:

It has many forms, and may develop in any part of the lungs. Mostly this is in the main part of the lung, in or near the air sacs. The treatment options can be determined depending up on the type, location, and spread of lung cancer.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS):

This is severe and sudden injury to the lungs caused by a serious illness. Until the lungs recover, life support with mechanical ventilation is required to survive.

Pneumoconiosis:

This is a category of conditions due to the inhalation of a substance that can cause damage to the lungs. Examples include black lung disease from inhaled coal dust and asbestosis from inhaled asbestos dust.


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