Not being able to breathe can be one of the scariest feelings. It is by your very breath that life is sustained — when you cannot catch your breath, it can seem that your life is spiraling out of control. There are many illnesses associated with breathing. The following are among the more common ones.
This condition often manifests suddenly and is characterized by a chronic productive cough. It may also be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), itself a severe lung condition with no known cure.
One of the most pervasive of all lung conditions is asthma. With this illness, airways are persistently inflamed. At various times the condition may suddenly worsen with the sufferer complaining about shortness of breath, wheezing and an occasional spasm. Asthma can be seasonal and it can also come from allergies, pollution and infections.
Once automatically a death sentence, Cystic Fibrosis still has no known cure. However, in recent years the quality and length of life of sufferers has improved dramatically. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition, one marked by the poor clearance of mucus from the bronchi. The result is repeated lung infections and, if left untreated, can take the life of the sufferer.
Pneumonia is usually treatable, but conditions can rapidly worsen. Indeed, it is a big killer of the elderly, a bacteria infection of the alveoli.
Once a certain killer, medicines can now combat this disease. Drugs taken for six to nine months can battle the illness, a bacteria that affects the lungs. Nearly one-third of the world’s population has a latent form of TB, but that mean they haven’t yet developed the disease and cannot transmit same.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
There is no known prevention or cure for ARDS, an acute illness that results in moderate to severe loss of lung function. More than 150,000 cases are reported annually in the US. Shortness of breath, white or pink expectorant and fatigue accompany this illness. Hospitalization and oxygen therapy can help patients overcome ARDS.
Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
A blood clot that forms in the leg and breaks off may attack your lungs and heart. A PE clot may rest in your pulmonary artery, leading to shortness of breath and decreased oxygen levels. Left untreated, the patient often dies.
Fluid that collects in the pleura space between the lung and chest wall can lead to pneumonia or heart failure. Such effusions, if large, can impair breathing and must be drained.
You may have seen the ads on television for mesothelioma, representing a rare but usually deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma forms on the pleura and typically forms due to asbestos exposure. That is why you see ads from attorneys seeking sufferers as part of a class action lawsuit against companies that used asbestos explains CPAPMan.com.
Clearly, lung health concerns should be quickly addressed. If you believe that you are suffering from a likely lung condition, see your doctor at once. To delay may only exacerbate a problem, making it more difficult for you to overcome the problem.