Pulmonary Health Resources
The American Lung Association
American Association for Respiratory Care
Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America
Pulmonary Artery Hypertension
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Global Initiative for COPD
National Institutes of Health
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
A respiratory condition characterized by severe asthma symptoms and bronchiectasis due to a immunological reaction to aspergillus (fungus) spores.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. A fulminant lung condition in which trauma to the lungs leads to inflammation of the lungs, accumulation of fluid in the alveolar air sacs, low blood oxygen, and respiratory distress.
A chronic, progressive condition featuring scarring of the lungs (fibrosis) caused by inhaled asbestos fibers. Asbestosis is irreversible.
A common disorder in which chronic inflammation and hyperreactivity of the bronchial tubes (bronchi) causing them to swell, narrow, and leak secretions. Asthma involves only the bronchial tubes and does not affect the air sacs (alveoli) or the lung tissue (the parenchyma of the lung) itself.
Asthma , Exercise-Induced
Asthma that is “triggered” by vigorous physical activity. Exercise-induced asthma tends particularly to affect children and young adults (because of their high level of physical activity) but can occur at any age. Exercise-induced asthma is initiated by the process of respiratory heat exchange (the fall in airway temperature during rapid breathing followed by rapid reheating with lowered ventilation). The more heat transferred, the cooler the airways become, the more rapidly they rewarm, and the more the bronchi are narrowed. Consequently, the symptoms may occur during or after exercise.
Permanent dilatation (widening) of the bronchi (the large air tubes which begin at the bottom of the trachea and branch into the lungs) typically caused by a prior infection or exposure to noxious substances. Bronchiectasis can result in complications including recurrent respiratory infections, a disabling cough, shortness of breath, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), and scarring.
Inflammation of the large airways usually caused by infections, smoking, and toxic substances.
Inflammation of the bronchioles, the small airways that extend beyond the bronchi and terminate in the alveoli. Bronchiolitis is due to viral infections such as parainfluenza, influenza, adenovirus and, especially, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Chronic Bronchitis & Emphysema
Any disorder that persistently obstructs bronchial airflow. COPD mainly involves two related diseases — chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both cause chronic obstruction of air flowing through the airways and in and out of the lungs. The obstruction is generally permanent and progresses (becomes worse) over time.
One of the most common grave genetic (inherited) diseases, CF affects the exocrine glands and is characterized by the production of abnormal secretions, leading to mucous build-up, which leads to increased frequency of pulmonary infections and damage to the lung. The pancreas and reproductive tract are also affected.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is usually an occupational disease in which exposure to organic dusts, fungus, or molds leads to acute lung disease. Over time, this acute condition may turn into chronic lung disease. Exposure may also occur in the home from fungus present in humidifiers, heating systems, and air conditioners. Some hobbies, such as owning birds, can lead to exposure.
Acute illness may occur 4 – 6 hours after the exposure, once the person has left the area where the allergen is present. Chronic illness with changes seen on chest x-ray may develop with continued exposures. The chronic form of this disease may lead to pulmonary fibrosis (a scarring of the lung tissue that is often not reversible).
Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and generally fatal interstitial lung disease characterized by a unique pattern of scarring, inflammation, proliferation of fibroblasts, and deposition of connective-tissue matrix proteins in the lungs. This scarring (fibrosis) and inflammation result in dyspnea and poor gas exchange, eventually leading to death.
Lung Abscess & Empyema
The presence of pus in the pleural space which is between the outer surface of the lung and the chest wall. Empyema is often a complication of pneumonia caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, or Haemophilus influenza (H. flu) type b.
Cancer of the major organ of respiration – the lung. Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other form of cancer. Since the majority of lung cancer is diagnosed at a relatively late stage, only 10% of all lung cancer patients are ultimately cured. Eight out of 10 lung cancers are due to tobacco smoke. Lung cancers are classified as either small cell or non-small cell cancers. Persistent cough and bloody sputum can be symptoms of lung cancer. Lung cancer can be diagnosed based on examination of sputum, or tissue examination with biopsy using bronchoscopy, needle through the chest wall, or surgical excision.
A lung disease characterized by an unusual type of muscle cell that invades the tissue of the lungs, including the airways, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. Over time, these muscle cells form into bundles and grow into the walls of the airways and blood and lymph vessels, causing them to become obstructed. Although these cells are not considered cancerous, they act somewhat like cancer cells in that they grow uncontrollably throughout the lung. The muscle cells in time block the flow of air, blood, and lymph to and from the lungs, preventing the lungs from providing oxygen to the rest of the body. “Lymphangioleiomyomatosis” is pronounced lim – fan’ je – o – li’ o – mi’ o – ma – to’ sis. “Lymph-” and “-angio-” refer to the lymph and blood vessels. “Leiomyomatosis” refers to the formation of the bundles of the unusual muscle cells. Lymphangioleiomyomatosis is abbreviated LAM.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. It owes its name to a Greek word, apnea, meaning “want of breath.” There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respirations. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person’s nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue.
Excess fluid between the two membranes that envelop the lungs. These membranes are called the visceral and parietal pleurae. The visceral pleura wraps around the lung while the parietal pleura lines the inner chest wall. There is normally a small quantity (about 3 to 4 teaspoons) of fluid that is spread thinly over the visceral and parietal pleurae and acts as a lubricant between the two membranes. Any significant increase in the quantity of pleural fluid is a pleural effusion.
Inflammation of one or both lungs with consolidation. Pneumonia is frequently but not always due to infection. The infection may be bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic. Symptoms may include fever, chills, cough with sputum production, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Free air in the chest outside the lung. Pneumothorax can occur spontaneously, follow a fractured rib, occur in the wake of chest surgery, or be deliberately induced in order to collapse the lung. Smoking has been shown to increase the risk for spontaneous pneumothorax.
Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS)
Persons who have had polio may develop newly progressive fatigue, pain, and weakness 15 or more ye4ars after recovery from poliomyelitis. In some cases, muscle atrophy (muscle wasting) also occurs as part of PPS. In most cases, however, new symptoms are not due to progression of old polio but to a superimposed second condition, such as diabetes, a vertebral disk problem, or degenerative joint disease. PPS is a constellation of symptoms and signs that appear from 15 to 40 years after the initial polio infection, and at least 10 years after what was thought to be recovery from polio.
High blood pressure in the pulmonary artery that conveys blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. The pressure in the pulmonary artery is normally low compared to that in the aorta. Pulmonary hypertension can irrevocably damage the lungs and cause failure of the right ventricle.
Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clots)
A pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage in a lung artery, usually due to a blood clot that traveled to the lung from the leg. A clot that forms in one part of the body and travels in the bloodstream to another part of the body is called an embolus. Pulmonary embolism is a serious condition that can cause: Permanent damage to part of your lung from lack of blood flow to lung tissue, low oxygen levels in your blood, and damage to other organs in your body from not getting enough oxygen. If a clot is large, or if there are many clots, pulmonary embolism can cause death. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is a complication of a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In DVT, blood clots form in the deep veins of the body most often in the legs. These clots can break free, travel to the lung, and block an artery.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition primarily causing inflammation and damage to the joints with arthritis which may also involve inflammation of different components of the lung causing pleurisy, interstitial lung disease with fibrosis, nodules, vasculitis, and bronchiolitis.
A disease of unknown origin that causes small lumps (granulomas) due to chronic inflammation to develop in a great range of body tissues. Sarcoidosis can appear in almost any body organ, but most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes. It also affects the eyes, liver and skin; and less often the spleen, bones, joints, skeletal muscles, heart and central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
A form of lung disease resulting from occupational exposure to silica dust over a period of years. Silicosis causes slowly progressive fibrosis of the lungs, impairment of lung function and a tendency to tuberculosis of the lungs. Crystalline silica of respirable size is primarily quartz dust occurring in industrial and occupational settings in the form of fine, breathable particles. Respirable crystalline silica results from mining and grinding coal.
A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Abbreviated TB. Tubercles (tiny lumps) are a characteristic finding in TB. Diagnosis may be made by skin test, which if positive should will be followed by a chest X-ray to determine the status (active or dormant) of the infection. Tuberculosis is more common in people with immune system problems, such as AIDS, than in the general population. Treatment of active tuberculosis is mandatory by law in the US, and should be available at no cost to the patient through the public health system. It involves a course of antibiotics and vitamins that lasts about six months. It is important to finish the entire treatment, both to prevent reoccurrence and to prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. Most patients with tuberculosis do not need to be quarantined, but it is sometimes necessary.
Vocal Cord Dysfunction
A condition that mimics or causes asthma symptoms due to, the vocal cords closing together, or constricting, during one or both parts of the breathing cycle. This leaves only a small opening for air to flow through the windpipe and causes asthma-like symptoms.