Ottawa Medical Clinics - Respiratory Diseases are a term that includes a large variety of pathological conditions that affect the organs and tissues that make the gas exchange possible. The conditions that fit under the designation of a respiratory disease, consist of problems with the bronchi, upper respiratory tract, bronchioles, trachea, pleural cavity, alveoli, pleura as well as the nerves and muscles that are responsible for breathing. Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting like the common cold for example, to life-threatening conditions like for example pulmonary embolism, bacterial pneumonia and lung cancer.
The study of Pulmonology focuses on respiratory diseases, whilst those specializing physicians in this particular field are called a pulmonologist. Medical practitioners in this particular field might likewise be referred to as: a thoracic medicine specialist, a respiratory medicine specialist, a chest medicine expert and a respirologist.
There are many classifications used for the various respiratory diseases; they can be classed by the tissue or organ involved or can be classed by the type and pattern of related symptoms and signs, or based on the etiology or cause of the disease.
Inflammatory Lung Disease
This particular disease, that consists of acute respiratory distress syndrome, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and cystic fibrosis, are characterized by a high neutrophil count.
Allergic reactions are a common reason for acute respiratory disease. This is because of the exposure to different foods and agents. Common allergens which are found in foods could comprise lemon, radish, sea foods such as some prawns and fatty fish, bananas, peanuts, dairy and ice creams, pomegranates, lemon, arrowroot, berries and lady's finger. Climate may likewise affect various people since sandy and dusty weather conditions during summer can make the air quality poor for those who are sensitive.
Obstructive Lung Diseases
This category of lung diseases are where the airways comprising the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli become reduced in volume or else have the free flow of gas impeded, hence making it harder to move air in and out of the lungs.
COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Asthma is an example of COPD. In this obstructive lung disease, the airways become damaged and this causes them to narrow.
Restrictive Lung Diseases or Interstitial Lung Diseases
Restrictive Lung Diseases are a category of respiratory disease that is characterized by a loss of lung compliance. These RLD's may result in incomplete lung expansion and increased lung stiffness. IRDS or Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome is an instance.
Respiratory Tract Infections
Infections can affect any part of the respiratory system. They are usually divided into lower respiratory tract infections and upper respiratory tract infections.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
The most common type of upper respiratory infection is the common cold. Infections of the upper respiratory tract specific organs may include tonsillitis, pharyngitis, otitis media, sinusitis and laryngitis are likewise in this category.
Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
Pneumonia is the most common lower respiratory tract infection. It is a lung infection typically as a result of bacteria, usually Streptococcus within the Western world. Tuberculosis is a large cause of pneumonia across the globe. Different viruses and fungi can cause pneumonia as well, for instance acute respiratory syndrome and pneumocystic pneumonia.
Respiratory tumours are either benign or malignant.
Pleural Cavity Diseases
Pleural cavity diseases consist of emphysema and mesothelioma. A pleural effusion is a collection of fluid in the pleural cavity. This can be caused by situations like cirrhosis and congestive heart failure, as the fluid from the bloodstream shifts into the pleural cavity. Diseases here may also take place from pleura inflammation, TB, mesothelioma, pulmonary embolism and different conditions.
A hole in the pleura that covers the lung and permits air inside the lung to escape into the pleural cavity is referred to as a pneumothorax. In this instance, the affected lung collapses similar to a balloon which is inflated. A tension pneumothorax is a severe kind of this where the air is unable to escape in the pleural cavity and the pressure gets bigger eventually compressing the blood vessels and the heart, leading to a dangerous life-threatening situation.
Pulmonary Vascular Diseases
Conditions that affect the pulmonary circulation are known as Pulmonary Vascular Diseases. Several examples comprise: Pulmonary arterial hypertension, Pulmonary hemorrhage, Pulmonary edema and Pulmonary embolism.
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