A respiratory disease by definition is “a medical term that encompasses the pathological conditions that affect the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible in your lungs and upper respiratory tract.” Whether these issues present themselves as difficulty breathing or obstruction of deep breaths, respiratory illnesses can be severe if not treated by a professional.
They are commonly associated with smokers, but in reality, respiratory illness can impact anyone affected by pollution, smoke, environmental factor or even brought on by illness. What are the most common types of respiratory illnesses affecting the population?
This respiratory illness is incredibly common – and with the right medication, it can be well controlled and you can live long and prosperously with asthma. This is most characterized by the tightening of the airways and the struggle to take deep breaths without wheezing, which usually presents itself suddenly in an asthma attack. Common triggers are usually grass, pollen, dust, or dander. Asthma can be brought on by illness or can be developed suddenly.
COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is just a general term for many different lung diseases. Smoking can bring on this condition, but even some people who have never smoked could develop COPD from their environment, or breathing in heavy pollution. Usually characterized by not being able to fully inhale or exhale, COPD is a deadly condition.
This condition can be classified as a type of COPD illness. Also affecting the way your lungs exhale, emphysema usually affects smokers or former smokers that have already caused irreparable harm to their respiratory systems. Emphysema is diagnosed and characterized by the severe damage to the air sacs within your lungs that help you filter out the air you breathe. There is no cure.
Also another form of COPD, bronchitis’ main identifier is its persistent cough. While bronchitis can present itself in a mild form when you become ill with a cold and it starts to affect your airways, it usually goes away after proper medication. The kind that does not go away, however, is chronic bronchitis. With this condition, the cough and mucus production will persist, making it challenging for healthy breathing.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. While it may present itself as a respiratory illness, cancer is often identified by the growth of tumors in or around the lungs. While these tumors can grow anywhere on the lung, they usually begin in the air sacs, causing breathing obstruction and discomfort.
Respiratory distress is nothing to take lightly, and you should seek treatment right away for severe symptoms. If you suspect you are suffering from a respiratory illness and are in need of urgent care, come see us at Patient Care Now Urgent Care. We pride ourselves in providing a seamless experience to our patients, with up front and direct care from board-certified physicians. Call us at (267) 202-6433 for all your urgent care needs, or use our online check-in form.