English 4 MIN READ 99 VIEWS May 21, 2024

Lung Disease: Learn About the Types & Symptoms

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Lungs are the most essential parts of our body as they are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and without them, we won’t be able to survive even for a minute. Lungs help in circulating oxygen in our body, and let all of our organs operate properly. 

While being one of the most important organs, they are also one of the most delicate ones and can easily get damaged over time due to varying reasons. Lung disease makes it hard for lungs to function and circulate oxygen properly. This blog goes into detail and provides you with more information about the forms, types, and causes of lung disease. 

Symptoms of Lung Disease

Lung disease symptoms can differ for every disease, but there are a few common amongst them all. Listed below, you can find these factors that you can watch out for:

  1. Chronic and continuous coughing
  2. Feeling a shortness of breath
  3. Constant production of mucus
  4. Constantly wheezing or having noisy breathing
  5. Coughing blood (extreme cases; should seek medical intervention urgently)
  6. Unexplainable chest, back, or shoulder pains that eventually get worse whenever you try to take a breath or cough
  7. Noticeable changes in voice that last for more than one week

While these factors vary for every disease, there are also some common symptoms of weak lungs that you need to be watching out for. You also need to ensure that if any of these symptoms persist for a long time, it is time to seek medical help. 

Types of Lung Disease: The Three Sub-Categories

There are a lot of different forms of lung diseases that people can suffer from for a varying number of reasons. All of these diseases, though, can be segregated into three subgroups: airway, lung tissue, and lung circulation diseases. They have been detailed below for your reference:

  1. Airway Lung Diseases: This kind of lung disease directly affects the main function of your lungs, their ability to move air in and out of the lungs effectively. Examples include asthma, COPD, bronchitis, and emphysema.
  2. Lung Tissue Diseases: Diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis directly impact the delicate tissue of the lungs, causing scarring and major damage. 
  3. Lung Circulation Diseases: These lung diseases are far more serious and directly target the lungs’ ability to pump blood to and from the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary edema are some common examples of this. 

Different Lung Diseases

Since you know the types of lung disease, let’s understand the different types of lung diseases here: 

  1. Asthma

Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases that affects a lot of people worldwide. It is a chronic respiratory disease that causes inflammation in your airways and also narrows them down, making it hard for you to breathe properly. It can also cause you to feel chest tightness, coughing, and wheezing.

  1. COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) refers to a group of conditions that affect the lungs. COPD has two types: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. You may develop one or both of these conditions if you have been diagnosed with COPD. It is an incurable lung disease that can be managed by medications and good healthcare practices. 

  1. Bronchitis

This refers to inflammation that occurs in your bronchial tubes, which are responsible for carrying air to and from your lungs. Bronchitis can cause the pipes to narrow and fill up with excess mucus, making it difficult to breathe. 

  1. Emphysema

This is another one of the deadly lung diseases that destroys the alveoli in your respiratory system, which are responsible for moving gases between the air and your blood. Things like cigarette smoke, pollution, and/or chemicals can damage and scar these tiny sacs present in your body.

  1. Pulmonary Fibrosis

This is a type of interstitial lung disease that causes scarring and damage to the tissues situated deep within your lungs. It makes them stiff and thick and can be caused by certain diseases, medications, and environmental factors.

  1. Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis refers to an inflammatory disease characterised by the formation of granulomas (clumps of inflammatory cells) and may affect your lungs, skin, and lymph nodes. People who are from the age group of 20–50 and/or are of African American (especially women) and Northern European descent are more prone to this lung disease.

  1. Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition where the blood that pumps within your lung’s arteries puts too much pressure on the walls. This happens when these vessels get narrower, causing the heart to pump blood with more force. It can also sometimes lead to heart failure if not treated on time.

  1. Pulmonary Edema

This lung disease occurs when the heart doesn’t pump blood efficiently, and there can be a buildup of blood in the blood vessels connected to the lungs. This can, in turn, cause fluid to leak into air space and lung tissue putting pressure on the alveoli, which may make breathing hard.

  1. Pulmonary Embolus

Pulmonary embolus is one of the deadly lung diseases that occurs whenever a blood clot ends up developing within the arteries of your lungs. This disease can cause complications and issues for your heart and lungs as the blood flow gets restricted and blocked off due to these clots. 

Conclusion

Any kind of lung disease can be a huge problem and cause hindrance in your day-to-day lives. It is extremely important to take care of our lungs’ health. This means taking precautions such as avoiding smoking, using air filters in homes and offices, and consuming a healthy diet is important to keep your bodily functions in check.

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