When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen from the air and deliver it to the bloodstream. The cells in your body need oxygen to work and grow. During a normal day, you breathe nearly 25,000 times. People with lung disease have difficulty breathing. Millions of people in the U.S. have lung disease. If all types of lung disease are lumped together, it is the number three killer in the United States.

The term lung disease refers to many disorders affecting the lungs, such as asthma, COPD, infections like influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis, lung cancer, and many other breathing problems. Some lung diseases can lead to respiratory failure.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Symptoms of Lung Diseases

The following features are indicative of Lung Diseases:
  • difficulty in breathing
  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • chest tightness
  • shortness of breath
  • noisy breathing
  • shallow breaths
  • chest pain
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • elevated pulse rate
  • pale skin
  • sweating
  • cough that doesn't go away
  • changes in a chronic cough
  • coughing up blood
  • hoarseness
  • losing weight without trying
  • bone pain
  • headache
  • swelling in the ankles, feet, or legs
  • lower muscle endurance
  • blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
It is possible that Lung Diseases shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Lung Diseases

The following are the most common causes of Lung Diseases:
  • smoking
  • exposure to asbestos
  • exposure to radon gas
  • air pollution

Risk Factors for Lung Diseases

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Lung Diseases:
  • heavy smoking
  • being a women

Prevention of Lung Diseases

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Lung Diseases. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • maintain healthy body weight
  • get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia
  • avoid outdoor allergens and irritants
  • monitor your breathing

Occurrence of Lung Diseases

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Lung Diseases cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Lung Diseases can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Lung Diseases can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Lung Diseases

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Lung Diseases:
  • Spirometry: To measures the amount of airflow obstruction present
  • Lung function tests: To measure the amount of air inhaled and exhaled
  • Chest x-ray: To view the signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Arterial blood gas test: To calculate the oxygen level in the blood

Doctor for Diagnosis of Lung Diseases

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Lung Diseases:
  • Allergist
  • Pulmonary specialists
  • Physician

Complications of Lung Diseases if untreated

Yes, Lung Diseases causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Lung Diseases is left untreated:
  • can be fatal
  • decreased ability to take part in physical activities
  • lack of sleep due to nighttime symptoms
  • permanent changes in the function of the lungs
  • persistent cough
  • trouble breathing
  • difficulty in walking
  • unable to work
  • memory loss
  • chronic diseases
  • depression
  • mental conditions
  • respiratory infections
  • heart problems
  • lung cancer
  • pleural effusion
  • pain
  • shortness of breath
  • hemoptysis
  • metastasis

Procedures for Treatment of Lung Diseases

The following procedures are used to treat Lung Diseases:
  • Allergy shots: Reduces the immune system reaction to specific allergens
  • Bronchial thermoplasty: Reduces the smooth muscle inside the airways by heating up insides of the airways
  • Surgery: To remove lung cancer
  • Chemotherapy: To destroy the cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy: To kill cancer cells

Medicines for Lung Diseases

Below is the list of medicines used for Lung Diseases:

Self-care for Lung Diseases

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Lung Diseases:
  • Use air conditioner: Reduces the amount of airborne pollens
  • Keep mold spores from developing
  • Keep your home clean
  • Cover the nose and mouth if it's cold out
  • Get regular exercise: Prevents from asthma attacks
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Reduces the worsening asthma
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid exposure to asbestos
  • Avoid secondhand smoke

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Lung Diseases

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Lung Diseases:
  • Do breathing exercises: Improves the asthma symptoms
  • Acupuncture therapy: Lowers the pain and ease cancer treatment side effects
  • Hypnosis therapy: Relieves anxiety, nausea and pain in people with cancer
  • Massage therapy: Reduces anxiety and pain in people with cancer
  • Do meditation: Lowers stress and improve quality of life in people with cancer
  • Do yoga: Helps people with cancer sleep better

Patient Support for Treatment of Lung Diseases

The following actions may help Lung Diseases patients:
  • Pace yourself: Take breaks between the tasks and avoid activities that make the symptoms worse
  • Talk to others with your condition: Connect with people facing similar challenges
  • Child having asthma: Pay attention on the things your child can do
  • Supportive care: Improves the mood and quality of life
  • Learn enough about lung cancer to make decisions about your care: Helps you in becoming more confident in making treatment decisions
  • Keep friends and family close: Provides the practical support and help you deal with your lung cancer

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Lung Diseases.
Breathing Problems
Bronchial Disorders
Collapsed Lung
Interstitial Lung Diseases
Oxygen Therapy
Pleural Disorders
Venous Thromboembolism
Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary Hypertension
Respiratory Failure
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections

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