The type of respiratory illness that everyone needs to know

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Types of Respiratory Illnesses
Types of Respiratory Illnesses

One of the leading causes of illnesses today is respiratory illness. Millions of people suffer from some sort of lung problem which severely hampers their quality of life.

Respiratory illnesses mostly affect the lungs and make it harder for the patient to breathe. Common causes of such diseases could be smoking, radon, or bad air pollution.

From taking care of the food they eat to always making sure the environment they live in is hygienic and healthy. People who suffer from these diseases have a hard time trying to live a good life. For many, it will require constant and routine checking of their lung function, with special tests, called spirometry tests given to them in their doctor’s offices or hospitals. This machine measures the strength of the users’ lung functions in both inhalation and exhalation capacities. New, exciting companies like start-up Airflowy are debuting at-home Bluetooth-enabled spirometry devices to make this routine check-up even more accessible.

In this article you’ll learn about the 4 main and most common types of respiratory illnesses:

  1. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is caused by the uncontrolled rapid growth of cells in tissues.

Lung cancer has become the number 1 cancer illness and causes the most deaths every year, making it the most dangerous of cancers.

Common symptoms can be weight loss or coughing up blood or regularly going out of breath.

It can be noticed on chest radiographs also called CT scans.

Two main types of lung cancer exist today. Both of these types are seen in the epithelial cells of the lungs. They are:

  • Small cell lung cancer (SLCC)
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

Besides these two, there is another cancer of the lung area, called mesothelioma.

Treatment of cancer involves surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

  1. Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is caused due to viral infection of the bronchial tree. In most cases, the infecting agent is a fungus.

Most of the time people take it lightly and mistake this condition to be common cold and underestimate the seriousness of it. This is the most obvious reason why most people tend to ignore bronchitis.

Children and infants are easy targets for this condition because their immune systems are still in the growing stage and are not that well-equipped to battle the virus. It also affects tobacco consumers and those who reside in highly polluted cities.

If the condition is acute bronchitis caused by a virus, it does not need any special treatment. You must prioritize rest and relax as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids such as water and the juices of fruits and vegetables.

If you or someone at home is suffering from bronchitis, then you should use humidifiers to raise the humidity in the rooms. If it’s not possible, place wet towels or blankets in several areas of the house. A humid environment is ideal for the recovery of a person suffering from bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis should get better within 12-15 days if taken proper care of.

  1. Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is long-term inflammation or swelling of the bronchi.

Which results in heightened production of mucus and may be accompanied by other side effects.

To be labeled as chronic bronchitis, a harsh cough and expectoration (coughing up of mucus) must occur on most days, for no shorter than three months of the year, for two or more years in a row.

However, chronic bronchitis may affect each person differently, there are tell-tale signs of chronic bronchitis that may help you recognize the problem. These include:

  • Cough – This cough may be subtle or harsh, but both are still symptoms of bronchitis.
  • Expectoration – Expectoration is the coughing up or spitting out of mucus due to overproduction, caused by bronchitis.

Chronic bronchitis must be treated properly or it may cause several different conditions, which is why it is so important to seek treatment for chronic bronchitis if you believe you may be suffering from it.

Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, frequent and caustic respiratory infections, narrowing of the bronchi, and even disability.

  1. Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that induces inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. Lots of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing can all happen in asthma.

It targets people of all ages but usually starts during childhood.

Asthmatics have inflamed airways in their lungs. Inflamed airways are narrowed and very sensitive, thus reacting very firmly to inhaled allergens.

When the airways react, the muscles around them get tight, narrowing the airways causing reduced airflow into the lungs. The swelling can and will progress, further narrowing the airways. When this happens there is increased production of mucus, a thick, sticky fluid that further narrows the already narrowed airways.

Common and easy symptoms of asthma are wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.

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Alice Christina, a seasoned health writer, combines her passion for wellness with a strong foundation in evidence-based research. She crafts insightful content that empowers readers to make informed health decisions. Alice's expertise shines through her concise and reliable health articles.