Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a serious health condition that commonly affects newborns, especially premature babies. Many babies born earlier than 34 weeks develop this condition, which affects a baby’s breathing. Most newborns with RDS need extra help to breathe properly in the first few days — sometimes weeks — of life.
Acute Respiratory Failure
Acute respiratory failure is a potentially fatal medical condition caused by fluid buildup in the lung’s air sacs. This buildup interferes with critical pulmonary functions in two ways. First, the lungs are blocked from transmitting oxygen to the bloodstream, leading to the gradual starvation of the body’s organs. Secondly, the lungs are prevented from removing carbon dioxide, a waste product of cellular respiration. This results in high levels of bloodstream toxins. Acute respiratory failure should be treated as an emergency. There is also a chronic version of respiratory failure that requires long-term medical management.
Black Lung Disease
Pneumoconiosis is a respiratory disease caused by breathing in dust and other forms of particulate matter that are harmful to your lungs. The particles settle in the lung’s air sacs, causing inflammation and the generation of scar tissue. The symptoms of pneumoconiosis are typically slow to develop, because of the considerable time it takes for an accumulation sufficient to create health problems.
Pneumoconiosis is sometimes called occupational lung disease, because of the workplace origin of many of the invasive dusts. Another common name is black lung disease, due to the condition’s frequency among coal miners. In addition to coal dust, pneumoconiosis agents include cotton fibers, silicas, asbestos particles, airborne beryllium, and diacetyl. The latter is used in movie-popcorn butter, and can lead to a condition known as popcorn lung.
you feel short of breath more and more frequently, ask your doctor about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a chronic, progressive lung disease, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma and other obstructive airway disease. This group of lung diseases make it harder to breathe when airflow is blocked. People who suffer from COPD becoming increasingly breathless. This condition is progressive and there is currently no cure. The most common contributors to COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages to and from your lungs, called bronchial tubes. There are two types of bronchitis: chronic and acute. Acute bronchitis is less medically serious; it usually occurs after a cold or respiratory ailment but clears up on its own after a few days. Chronic bronchitis can last for months or years and poses a greater risk to your health. The constant irritation of the bronchial tubes creates permanent mucous buildup that can lead to airflow obstructions and breathing problems.
Emphysema is a pulmonary disease caused by overextended alveoli – the air sacs where gas exchange occurs in the lungs. This overextension results from the destruction of spongy lung tissue by airborne irritants like cigarette smoke, as well as other factors. The loss of air sac elasticity hampers both airflow and blood flow, reducing the lungs’ effectiveness, thus triggering emphysema symptoms. Emphysema patients suffer from difficulty breathing and other respiratory ailments.
Pleural Effusion (Fluid in the Lungs)
Pleural effusion is the medical term for excessive fluid buildup in the pleural cavity between the chest wall and the lungs. It is popularly known as ‘water on the lungs’. Pleural effusion can result in diminished breathing capacity and possible lung collapse. It has a wide variety of causes, including cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, kidney disease, and cirrhosis of the liver. Smokers, alcoholics, and persons with hypertension run a higher level of risk for this condition.
Pneumonia is an infectious lung disease caused by several types of microorganisms or spoors. Persons with pneumonia suffer from inflamed air sacs or alveoli, often accompanied by coughing, mucous or pus production, headaches, nausea, and other indicators. The intensity of symptoms can vary, ranging from relatively mild to severe and potentially fatal. Children and the elderly are most at risk but pneumonia can strike at any age. If you have reason to believe you’ve contracted pneumonia, seek out medical attention immediately.
Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)
Pneumothorax is a partially or completely collapsed lung. Lung collapse occurs when air forces its way into the pleural cavity, a membranous layer between the lungs and the chest wall. The pleural cavity is inflated beyond its natural limits, putting pressure on the lung and other parts of the chest, including the heart. Causes are varied, but include traumatic injury and chronic lung disease. Pneumothorax is more common in men than women and is potentially fatal.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough or pertussis is a respiratory tract infection most commonly reported in younger children. Caused by the highly contagious bacterium Bordetella pertussis, whooping cough is marked by severe coughing fits, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and fatigue. The disease gets its name from a shrill “whooping” sound that patients make when breath returns after a coughing fit. Whooping cough was at one time a leading killer of Americans until the advent of an successful vaccination program. It remains a more limited threat today, primarily with infants that have yet to be vaccinated and with teenagers and adults whose immunity to the disease has faded with time.