Conditions That Can Affect the Respiratory System

Breathing is the basic necessity, before even food and water, of every animal, and due in no small part to the industrial revolution, as well as harmful toxins being released into the air and directly into the lungs such as smoking cigarettes, there are more diseases which can affect the respiratory system than ever before.

With that being said, here are four of the more common conditions.

1.   COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is, contrary to popular belief, the term to describe a group of diseases affecting the respiratory system, rather than just one.

COPD is a damaging and potentially exceedingly serious disease that attacks the airways by thickening and damaging them. Over time, the lungs try to counteract the infection by creating more mucus than normal, resulting in clogged airways and difficulty breathing.

The four key symptoms of COPD are as follows:

  • A tightness in the chest
  • Continually coughing up mucus
  • Wheezing and whistling when breathing
  • A general shortness of breath

2.   Lung Cancer

Definitely the scariest and most dreaded respiratory illness, and one which everyone has at least heard of, is lung cancer,

Now, many people who are merely suffering from a chest infection make the ill-advised decision to ‘Google’ their symptoms, glean information from a disreputable and amateur website, and automatically jump to this particular conclusion.

This is why, should you be experiencing any kind of issue with breathing or pain in the chest, you should book an appointment with a prestigious and established doctor who will conduct a thorough examination as well as inform you of the primary lung cancer symptoms.

3.   Bronchiectasis

Next, a respiratory disease that targets a specific element of the lungs and airways is bronchiectasis.

Bronchiectasis affects the smallest airways within the lung organs, named bronchi, and works to alter the walls of each individual airway, thickening the sides and swelling the entire tube.

People living with bronchiectasis experience difficulty breathing due to narrowing their airways, and infections can occur again due to a build-up of excess mucus.

If the mucus you are coughing up appears yellow or green in color and you are not displaying any other signs of the common cold or even the flu, if you even notice tiny flecks of blood in your saliva, or if you switch between the chills and a fever, this may well be a sign of bronchiectasis.


4.   Sarcoidosis

Perhaps one of the less serious respiratory conditions, yet still one that can cause intense discomfort and difficulty breathing, is sarcoidosis.

Basically, sarcoidosis manifests as a permanent fever, excess sweating, and a general feeling of tiredness and lethargy. It occurs when the immune system cells clump together, usually in one or both of the lungs.

Even though you should always have any breathing or lung issue examined by a medical professional, in the vast majority of cases, sarcoidosis usually goes away on its own, yet it can leave signs of scarring.

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