Vancouver Medical Clinics - Respiratory Diseases are a term which encompasses various pathological conditions that affect the organs and tissues that make the gas exchange possible. The conditions which fit under the designation of a respiratory disease, comprise issues with the bronchi, upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchioles, pleura, pleural cavity, alveoli in addition to the nerves and muscles which are responsible for breathing. Respiratory diseases range from self-limiting and mild such as the common cold for example, to life-threatening conditions like lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, and bacterial pneumonia.
Pulmonology is the study of respiratory disease and a physician specializing in this area in particular is called a pulmonologist. Other names for this particular medical practitioner include: a respiratory medicine specialist, a thoracic medicine specialist, a chest medicine expert and a respirologist.
Respiratory diseases can be classified in a variety of different ways; either by the organ or tissue involved or by the type and pattern of related symptoms and signs, or by the cause of the disease or etiology.
Inflammatory Lung Disease
Inflammatory Lung Disease is characterized by a high neutrophil count. Several examples comprise: emphysema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Allergic responses are a common reason for acute respiratory disease. This is caused by the exposure to different agents and foods. Common allergens which are found in foods may consist of radish, lemon, sea foods like some fatty fish and prawns, bananas, peanuts, pomegranates, dairy and ice creams, arrowroot, lemon, lady's finger and berries. Weather conditions can likewise affect several individuals as dusty and sandy weather during summer may make the quality of air poor for individuals who are sensitive.
Obstructive Lung Diseases
This grouping of diseases pertain to problems of the airways comprising the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli. They become reduced in volume or else that have impeded the free flow of gas, making it harder to move air in and out of the lungs.
COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Asthma is an example of COPD. In this obstructive lung disease, the airways become damaged and this causes them to narrow.
Restrictive Lung Diseases or Interstitial Lung Diseases
This is a category of respiratory disease that is characterized by a loss of lung compliance. These lung diseases cause increased lung stiffness and incomplete lung expansion. IRDS or Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome is an example.
Respiratory Tract Infections
Infections can affect any part of the respiratory system. They are usually divided into upper respiratory tract infections and lower respiratory tract infections.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
The common cold is the most common kind of upper respiratory infection. Infections of particular organs located within the upper respiratory tract like for example pharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, sinusitis and laryngitis are also in this category.
Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
Pneumonia is the most common lower respiratory tract infection. It is a lung infection usually due to bacteria, normally Streptococcus within the Western world. Tuberculosis is a large reason for pneumonia across the world. Various viruses and fungi could result in pneumonia as well, like for instance pneumocystis pneumonia and acute respiratory syndrome.
Tumors in the respiratory system are either malignant or benign.
Pleural Cavity Diseases
Diseases of the pleural cavity consists of emphysema and mesothelioma. A build up of fluid in the pleural cavity is known as a pleural effusion. This can be caused by conditions like congestive heart failure and cirrhosis, as the fluid from the bloodstream shifts into the pleural cavity. Diseases here can also take place from TB, pleura inflammation, mesothelioma, pulmonary embolism and various conditions.
A hole in the pleura which covers the lung and allows air inside the lung to escape into the pleural cavity is called a pneumothorax. In this instance, the affected lung collapses similar to a balloon which is inflated. A tension pneumothorax is a severe type of this where the air cannot escape in the pleural cavity and the pressure eventually gets bigger compressing the heart and blood vessels, resulting in a dangerous life-threatening situation.
Pulmonary Vascular Diseases
Pulmonary Vascular Diseases are some conditions that affect the pulmonary circulation. Instances of these diseases comprise: Pulmonary arterial hypertension, Pulmonary hemorrhage, Pulmonary edema and Pulmonary embolism.
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