Chronic Lung Diseases

What are Chronic Lung Diseases?

Chronic respiratory/ lung diseases (CRDs) are a serious concern for people worldwide, with over 3 million annual deaths. These diseases affect several parts of the respiratory system, leading to long-term disabilities and even early demise.

Chronic lung diseases primarily affect the airways and other structures in the respiratory system. They are typically observed as non-communicable diseases that massively influence individuals as well as the community.

While their initial symptoms are insignificant, chronic lung diseases get worse over time. It is recommended to consult with a physician if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

Types of Chronic Lung Diseases

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Occupation-related lung disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Lung cancer

Symptoms of Chronic Lung Diseases

  • Initial symptoms: Chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, and hemoptysis or the presence of blood in sputum, are the predominant symptoms of CRDs.
  • Progressive symptoms: Symptoms of disease progression include abnormal heart rhythm, hemoptysis, fatigue, and wheezing. You may also experience continuous coughing with expectoration, during which you will discharge matter while coughing.
  • Others: The presence of blood in sputum is an alarming sign and must be immediately investigated. Asthma patients can experience seasonal cough variations with expectoration and fatigue. These symptoms can gradually worsen for COPD patients if not properly treated on time.

Causes of Chronic Lung Diseases

Chronic lung diseases are caused by several direct and indirect reasons. Poor indoor and outdoor air quality, smoking tobacco, passive smoking, infections, dust, and occupational chemicals are some causes of CRDs. Smoking during pregnancy can also have serious effects on the unborn child's lungs.

Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Lung Diseases

Prevention is always better than cure. One way to prevent these diseases is to limit exposure to general causative factors. Here is how you can avert chronic lung disease.

  • Completely stop consuming tobacco.
  • Improve air quality in your surroundings.
  • Take preventative measures for allergies.
  • Accessibility of cost-effective, efficient, and durable healthcare services to everyone.
  • Regular analysis of factors to track the magnitude and predict future trends.
  • Avoid cooking with air-quality-depleting solid fuels.
  • Avoid exposure to triggers, such as smoke, pollen, and animal hair.

Chronic lung diseases are not curable. However, many methods to open obstructed airways and improve breathlessness, like inhalable corticosteroid medicines, are helping to enhance the lives of CRD patients and reduce symptoms.

Diagnosis of Chronic Lung Diseases

After your doctor checks for symptoms, a family or personal history of respiratory conditions, and breathing, they will ask for the following tests:

  • Spirometry for COPD
  • Chest x-ray for chest infections, lung cancer, and COPD.
  • Blood tests for factors that can make you susceptible to CRDs.
  • A peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) test to measure how quickly you can breathe out and the volume of air for asthmatic patients.
  • CT scan for diagnosing many forms of CRDs.
  • A phlegm test of sputum for various chest infections.

Conclusion

Chronic lung diseases are a major health hazard in developing and developed countries. They also influence economic conditions by affecting work efficiency and drawing heavily on medical services. Identifying the symptoms and getting suitable treatment on time is crucial to improving the lives of people with chronic lung diseases.

Fortunately, while most CRDs have irreversible effects, you can slow down the progress by consulting your doctor. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to delay the progression of chronic lung diseases.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Jubilee Hills. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Can chronic lung diseases be treated?

Unfortunately, chronic lung diseases do not have a cure. However, many treatments help mitigate the symptoms.

2. What are the risks of having a chronic lung disease?

The prolonged presence of chronic lung diseases can result in long-term disability, reduced life quality, and death in the worst cases. It is critical to consult a doctor in the initial stages rather than avoid them.

3. Should I get surgery for chronic lung disease?

Each surgery carries certain risks. However, the extent of the disease and your overall health will determine if getting surgery for CRD is essential.

4. What should I expect during a spirometry test?

1. You will be asked to breathe in deeply and out softly into the mouthpiece of a spirometer.
2. Then you will breathe in deeply and blow hard and fast into the mouthpiece.
3. You will repeat this process multiple times. The entire test takes about ten minutes.

5. What are the complications of having a chronic lung disease?

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and spontaneous pneumothorax are visible complications of having a CRD. Contagious lung infections, such as pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and upper respiratory system viral colds and flu, are also observed.

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