Currently, respiratory diseases cause approximately four million deaths annually worldwide. The five most hazardous disorders related to the respiratory tract are mentioned below:
1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Recent statistics reveal that COPD is the third leading cause of death globally and around three million people die of this illness every year. COPD is a type of lung obstructive disease characterized by symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough and excessive sputum production. The illness is progressive and worsens overtime. The major causative agent is known to be tobacco smoke, whereas environmental irritants and genetics play a comparatively minor role. When the lung tissue is exposed to irritating chemicals, inflammation occurs, leading to ultimate damage to the lungs and airways. Pulmonologists recommend treatment options such as respiratory rehabilitation and at times lung transplant as well.
2. Chronic bronchitis.
Bronchitis is defined as inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs. When bronchitis prolongs from a duration of three months up to two years, it is considered chronic. Symptoms include chest pain, wheezing cough, sputum production and shortness of breath. This infectious disorder is majorly a result of cigarette smoking whereas air pollutants and genetics play a smaller role. Chronic bronchitis causes an abnormal enlargement of the bronchi, which leads to airway obstruction and difficulty in breathing. Patients with chronic bronchitis are asked to quit smoking and follow treatment methods such as inhaled bronchodilators and long-term oxygen therapy.
This respiratory illness was reported to cause over eight thousand deaths in the year 2013 and more than three million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema. The underlying pathology involves damage to the air sacs or alveoli in the lungs. Alveoli increase the surface area for maximum gaseous exchange. When the inner lining of the alveoli is destroyed, these air sacs weaken and rupture, leading to breathing difficulty, frequent lung infections, wheezing and chronic cough. The most evident causative agents are hazardous chemicals present in cigarette smoke. Patients with emphysema are given oxygen therapy, medication and if the case is severe, a surgical procedure involving lung transplantation is required.
4. Lung carcinoma.
Commonly known as lung cancer, lung carcinoma is the most common kind of cancer worldwide and causes approximately 1.76 million deaths per year. About 85% of lung tumors are caused by long-term tobacco smoking, which is the leading risk factor for the deadly disease. An abnormal and uncontrolled growth occurs in the lung tissue, which is highly malignant. The two most prevalent types are small cell carcinoma and non-small cell carcinoma. The symptoms experienced by a lung cancer patient are slightly different from those of the other respiratory diseases. Coughing up blood, drastic weight loss, consistent fatigue and frequent chest pains are the most common symptoms. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Every year more than four million patients die due to pneumonia. This progressive illness is characterized by inflammation in the lung tissue which primarily affects the alveoli. Symptoms include both productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever and trouble breathing. Pneumonia, being an infectious disease is mainly triggered by viruses or bacteria and lasts for a few weeks. Individuals suffering from weak immunity, cystic fibrosis, cardiac illness and diabetes are more prone to develop pneumonia. Types include bacterial, viral, and mycoplasma pneumonia. The disease can be prevented by certain vaccines whereas the treatment includes antibiotic and antiviral medication along with oxygen therapy.
The global impact of these respiratory diseases is colossal. It is imperative that we take preventive measures in order to ensure our lungs stay viable and thriving.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!