Lung Disease and Disorders

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Seasonal Flu
Sleep Apnea


Types of Lung Disease

  Obstructive lung disease Obstructive lung disease, also called COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects the airways and air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. The airways narrow or become blocked, decreasing the amount of air exhaled out of the lungs. People with obstructive lung disease may feel like they are trying to breathe out through a straw. Over time, the lungs may get bigger because the air gets trapped. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, chest tightness, increased mucus, wheezing and coughing. Treatments may include medicines, inhalers, oxygen use, breathing retraining, exercise (pulmonary rehab), surgery or lung transplant.

 Obstructive lung diseases include:

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency – an air sac disease passed down through families that may cause lung and liver disease. People with this disease can develop severe emphysema as early as 45 yrs. old.

Asthma – lung irritants and allergens cause the airways to swell, narrow and tighten.

 Bronchiectasis – damage, scarring and widening of the large airways caused by recurring swelling or infection of the airways. People with this disease are at risk for frequent lung infections.

Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome – damaged and inflamed airways from chemical particles, lung infections or inflammation in lung transplant patients. This leads to scarring that blocks the airways in the lungs.

 Chronic bronchitis – frequent infections that cause inflamed airways, increased mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. Treatment may include antibiotics, steroids and oxygen use.

Chronic bronchitis means that you have had these episodes a few times a year for 2 years or more. The main cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking.

Cystic fibrosis – a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other areas of the body.

 Emphysema – the air sacs lose their elasticity and become overinflated. This causes air trapping, shortness of breath and a decrease in gas exchange. The main cause of emphysema is smoking.

‰Restrictive lung disease Restrictive lung disease, also called interstitial lung disease, may affect lung tissue by causing scarring, inflammation (swelling) or thickening of lung tissue. This makes the lungs unable to expand fully. It becomes hard for the lungs to take in oxygen and release carbon monoxide. Oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules have a hard time passing through the lung tissue to enter or exit the blood stream. Other conditions, such as obesity and scoliosis or side curve to the spine, may also prevent the lungs from expanding fully and be considered a restrictive lung disease. Symptoms of restrictive lung disease include shortness of breath, fatigue especially with activity, chest tightening and increased mucus. Treatments may include medicines to decrease swelling or the progression of the disease, breathing retraining, exercise, oxygen use, surgery or lung transplant.

 Restrictive lung diseases include:  

Autoimmune connective tissue disorders may affect the connective tissue in the body and the lungs, causing inflammation, swelling, hardening and scarring. 

 Rheumatoid arthritis – a disorder that causes inflammation of the body’s joints because of increased immune cell production. About 1 in 10 people with rheumatoid arthritis develop restrictive lung disease. Scarring of the lungs occurs from the body’s overactive immune system attacking the lungs.  

Scleroderma – immune cells produce more collagen, causing the body’s skin to harden or scar. One type of scleroderma, called systemic sclerosis, can cause hardening or scarring in many parts of the body, including the lungs.   

SjÖgren’s syndrome – autoimmune disease of unknown cause that causes dryness of the eyes, mouth and other body parts. Pulmonary symptoms act like interstitial lung disease, causing swelling and inflammation.

 Bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia (BOOP) / Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) – a rare condition where the small airways (bronchioles) and air sacs (alveoli) become inflamed and blocked with connective tissue.  

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis – a disease that causes inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs due to an allergic reaction to dust, fungus, molds or chemicals. Exposure comes most often from the person’s occupation or hobbies. The disease causes symptoms that are similar to the flu.

 Bird fancier’s lung / pigeon breeder’s disease – from inhaling bird feathers or droppings.

 Farmer’s lung – from inhaling mold that grows on hay, straw or grain.

 Pneumoconiosis – a disease caused by inhaling workplace dust. The disease causes coughing and shortness of breath. It may lead to pulmonary fibrosis.

Asbestosis – from inhaling asbestos fibers.

Black lung disease – from inhaling coal dust (coal miners).

Siderosis – from inhaling iron from mines or welding fumes.

 Silicosis – from inhaling silica dust.

Pulmonary fibrosis – lung tissue becomes scarred overtime, making it hard to breathe. Scarring may occur from the environment, chemotherapy, radiation, certain medicines, autoimmune disease or unknown cause. 

Sarcoidosis – disease of unknown cause where abnormal growths, called granulomas, grow in the tissue of the lungs, skin or lymph nodes, causing inflammation. The disease may progress into pulmonary fibrosis or bronchiectasis.

Other lung conditions:

 Recovery from lung transplant – after a single or double lung transplant, pulmonary rehab is done to improve your physical strength and endurance. Preventing Infection and watching for symptoms of rejection are key during your recovery.

 Pulmonary hypertension – the blood vessels (pulmonary arteries) that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become hard and narrow. This causes pressure within the heart, leading to a decrease in gas exchange in the lungs. The heart has to work harder and over time weakens. Chest pain, shortness of breath, abnormal heart rhythm and heart failure can occur. Treatment may include medicines to open the pulmonary arteries and oxygen use. High pressure in these arteries is not shown with an arm blood pressure reading. It is diagnosed based on medical history, physical exam and results from tests and procedures.

Diaphragm disorders – half or all of the diaphragm muscle does not work well due to nerve damage or unknown causes. You may hear this called diaphragm paralysis or eventration (thinning of the diaphragm muscle). Treatment may include chest wall muscle strengthening with breathing exercises (inspiratory muscle training), breathing retraining, surgery or phrenic nerve pacing where electrical impulses are applied to the diaphragm.

 Chest wall restriction – conditions, such as morbid obesity and scoliosis or side curve to the spine may prevent the lungs from fully expanding, causing shortness of breath.



Occasional Naps May Help Lower Risk Of Stroke, Heart Attack

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — A tranquil nap within the afternoon may be an effective way to interrupt up the day and add some pep to your step for the remainder of your day by day routine. Now, researchers in Switzerland have discovered another excuse why you must think about having fun with a daily daytime snooze: taking a daytime nap a couple of times every week could decrease your danger of struggling a coronary heart assault or stroke.

Interestingly, the examine authors be aware that the time period spent napping didn’t appear to affect this profit, nor did napping any greater than twice per week.

For the examine, researchers analyzed the affiliation between frequency and period of naps with the danger of deadly and non-fatal critical heart problems occasions like coronary heart assaults and strokes in 3,462 randomly chosen residents of Lausanne, Switzerland. Participants have been between 35 and 75 years outdated, and recruited between 2003 and 2006.

Following their preliminary enrollment, every participant had their first check-up between 2009 and 2012. Then, researchers recorded data on individuals’ sleep and nap patterns, and monitored their health outcomes for a mean of 5 years.

In all, greater than half (58%) of the individuals mentioned they normally didn’t nap on a week-to-week foundation; 19% mentioned they took one to 2 naps per week; 12% mentioned they took between three and 5 naps; and 11% mentioned they dozed off no less than six or seven instances weekly.


The most frequent nappers have been principally older obese males with a smoking behavior, and tended to sleep longer at night time than those that mentioned they didn’t nap through the day. This frequent napping group additionally reported extra daytime sleepiness and extra extreme obstructive sleep apnea.

During the monitoring interval,155 deadly and non-fatal heart problems occasions have been recorded. Those who reported occasional (as soon as to twice weekly) napping lowered their heart problems occasion chance by 48% in comparison with those that didn’t nap in any respect. This affiliation nonetheless held true even after controlling for different influential components, reminiscent of affected person age, nighttime sleep period, hypertension, and excessive ldl cholesterol. Furthermore, these findings didn’t fluctuate after factoring in daytime fatigue, depression, and recurrently sleeping for at least six hours a night.

The solely components that did have an effect on the guts benefits of napping have been outdated age (65+) and sleep apnea. In truth, there was an preliminary noticed improve in cardiovascular dangers amongst frequent nappers, however researchers say these outcomes have been just about disproven after taking into consideration components like age and circumstances like sleep apnea.

Researchers additionally famous no distinction within the price of cardiovascular occasions relying on nap period, starting from as quick as 5 minutes to over one hour.

The examine’s authors warning that is an observational examine, which means it cannot definitively set up trigger. Furthermore, the information used relied on individuals’ subjective recollections and talent to recall their napping habits, leaving open the chance for error.

“While the exact physiological pathways linking daytime napping to [cardiovascular disease] risk is not clear, [this research] contributes to the ongoing debate on the health implications of napping, and suggests that it might not only be the duration, but also the frequency that matters” feedback Dr. Yue Leng and Dr. Kristine Yaffe, of the University of California at San Francisco, in a release. “The study of napping is a challenging but also a promising field with potentially significant public health implications. While there remain more questions than answers, it is time to start unveiling the power of naps for a supercharged heart.”

The study is printed within the scientific journal Heart.

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