Pulmonary diseases, otherwise known as lung diseases, are the third biggest cause of death in America. There are several different types of pulmonary diseases that vary in severity. According to Medline Plus, a few of the main types of pulmonary diseases include emphysema, asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis and lung cancer. All of these pulmonary diseases make life extremely difficult, and severe cases of these pulmonary diseases can even result in death. The key to battling pulmonary diseases is to diagnose them early and implement immediate treatment.
When a person has emphysema, cell walls between alveoli and air sacs within the lungs cannot stretch properly and sometimes lose the ability to recoil. According to the American Lung Association, air sacs within people that have emphysema can often break which makes it difficult for lungs to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide within the blood. Cigarette smoking is by far the No. 1 cause for emphysema. In the United States, approximately 3.1 million people live with emphysema on a daily basis. There are several different treatment options for emphysema including antibiotics, breathing exercises, steroids, lung transplants, lung surgery and bronchodilator drugs.
Asthma affects millions of Americans each year and is a condition that causes inflammation of air pathways near the lungs. Approximately 6.8 million children have asthma and a total of 23 million people have asthma in the United States according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, difficulty breathing, severe coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In America, approximately 12 million people stated that they experienced an asthma attack during the year of 2008.There are several different causes for asthma including dust mites, second hand smoke and pet dander.
The National Lung Cancer Partnership states that each year 219,000 new cases of lung cancer develop each year in the United States. Yearly, 160,000 people in the United States die because of lung cancer. Cigarette smoking is by far the No. 1 cause of lung cancer. However, there are other risk factors for lung cancer including exposure to second-hand smoke, exposure to asbestos, air pollution, exposure to arsenic and scarring from tuberculosis.
The European Lung Foundation explains that pneumonia occurs when lungs become inflamed because of bacteria, microscopic organisms or viruses. People who have pneumonia often have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing. According to the Hib Initiative, pneumonia is the No. 1 killer of children throughout the world. Ever year, approximately 2 million children die because of pneumonia. Pneumonia also causes approximately one out of five of the total yearly childhood deaths.
Tuberculosis is communicable disease that's easily spread through the air from person to person. Tuberculosis is essentially a bacterial infection of the lungs according to the Directors of Health Promotion and Education. When a person has tuberculosis, she is usually prescribed anti-tuberculosis drugs. Most of the time these anti-tuberculosis drugs kill tuberculosis bacteria very effectively. However, some strains of tuberculosis have developed a resistance to these drugs.