Edmonton Medical Clinics - Respiratory Diseases are a term that encompasses different pathological conditions which affect the organs and tissues which make the gas exchange possible. The conditions that fit under the designation of a respiratory disease, comprise issues with the upper respiratory tract, bronchi, bronchioles, trachea, pleura, pleural cavity, alveoli in addition to the nerves and muscles that are responsible for breathing. Respiratory diseases vary from mild and self-limiting 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 referred to as a pulmonologist. Various names used for this medical practitioner include: a respiratory medicine specialist, a thoracic medicine specialist, a respirologist and a chest medicine expert.
There are lots of classifications utilized for the numerous respiratory diseases; they can be classed by the organ or tissue involved or can be classed by the pattern and type of associated symptoms and signs, or according to the cause of the disease or etiology.
Inflammatory Lung Disease
This specific disease, which consists of emphysema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, are characterized by a high neutrophil count.
A common reason for acute respiratory disease is an allergic response due to exposure to various agents and foods. There are some very common allergens found in certain foods like for example radish, lemon, sea foods such as some fatty fish and prawns, bananas, peanuts, pomegranates, dairy and ice creams, lemon, arrowroot, berries and lady's finger. Climate may also affect several individuals because sandy and dusty weather conditions during summer can make the air quality poor for individuals who are sensitive.
Obstructive Lung Diseases
This category of lung diseases are where the airways comprising the alveoli, bronchi and bronchioles become reduced in volume or else have the free flow of gas impeded, hence making it more difficult 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
Restrictive Lung Diseases are a category of respiratory disease that is characterized by a loss of lung compliance. These RLD's can lead to increased lung stiffness and incomplete lung expansion. IRDS or also referred to as Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome is an example.
Respiratory Tract Infections
Infections can affect whatever part of the respiratory system. They are usually divided into lower respiratory tract infections and upper respiratory tract infections.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
The common cold is the most common kind of upper respiratory infection. Infections of particular organs located in the upper respiratory tract such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, sinusitis and laryngitis are also in this category.
Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
The most common lower respiratory tract infection is pneumonia. This particular lung infection would usually be caused by Streptococcus in the Western world. Tuberculosis is a large cause of pneumonia across the globe. Various viruses and fungi could result in pneumonia too, like for example acute respiratory syndrome and pneumocystic pneumonia.
Tumors in the respiratory system are either malignant or benign.
Pleural Cavity Diseases
Diseases of the pleural cavity includes emphysema and mesothelioma. A collection of fluid within the pleural cavity is known as a pleural effusion. This can be caused by situations like congestive heart failure and cirrhosis, because the fluid from the bloodstream shifts into the pleural cavity. Diseases here may even happen from TB, pleura inflammation, mesothelioma, pulmonary embolism and different conditions.
A hole in the pleura which covers the lung and allows air within the lung to escape into the pleural cavity is referred to as a pneumothorax. In this instance, the affected lung collapses similar to a balloon that is inflated. A tension pneumothorax is a severe form of this where the air cannot escape in the pleural cavity and the pressure gets bigger eventually compressing the blood vessels and the heart, resulting in a dangerous life-threatening situation.
Pulmonary Vascular Diseases
Conditions that affect the pulmonary circulation are known as Pulmonary Vascular Diseases. Some instances consist of: Pulmonary arterial hypertension, Pulmonary hemorrhage, Pulmonary embolism and Pulmponary edema.
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