Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung conditions that interfere with normal breathing, including:
These diseases cause a chronic, permanent and typically progressive obstruction of airflow in the lungs.
Bronchiectasis is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which mucus accumulates and sticks in the airways of the lungs, called bronchi. As a result, the airways become infected and inflamed, eventually leading to enlarged and weak airways, which allows more mucus and bacteria to accumulate.
Bronchiectasis most often affects children, although people of all ages are diagnosed with the condition.
It can be caused by lung injury from other conditions, including cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, pneumonia and immunodeficiency disorders, such as HIV and AIDS.
Symptoms of bronchiectasis vary for each person and in rare cases, a patient may not experience any symptoms at all. However, common symptoms may include:
The goal of treatment for bronchiectasis is to treat any underlying conditions causing lung injury, help remove mucus from the lungs and prevent further complications.
Treatment may include:
Chronic bronchitis is a common type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which the air passages in the lungs -- the bronchi -- are repeatedly inflamed, leading to scarring of the bronchi walls. As a result, excessive amounts of sticky mucus are produced and fill the bronchial tubes, which become thickened, impeding normal airflow through the lungs.
Chronic bronchitis affects millions of North Americans each year. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for developing chronic bronchitis. Over 90 percent of patients with chronic bronchitis have a smoking history, although only 15 percent of all cigarette smokers are ultimately diagnosed with some type of COPD, such as chronic bronchitis.
People with chronic bronchitis develop a persistent mucus-producing cough present most days of the month, or for three months of the year for two successive years. Other symptoms include frequent clearing of the throat and shortness of breath.
The goal of therapy for chronic bronchitis is to relieve symptoms, prevent complications and slow the progression of the disease. Quitting smoking is also essential for patients with chronic bronchitis, since continuing to use tobacco will only further damage the lungs.
Treatment may include:
Because people with chronic bronchitis are often physically limited, they may avoid any kind of physical activity. However, regular physical activity can actually improve a patient's health and wellbeing.
When you breathe, air travels to your lungs through airways called bronchi. The bronchi divide into smaller airways, called bronchioles, which end in clusters of tiny air sacs, called alveoli. Emphysema affects the walls of the millions of tiny air sacs in the lungs, which become inflamed and loose elasticity, causing the bronchioles to collapse. As a result, air becomes trapped in the air sacks, which become overstretched and may rupture, greatly affecting a person's ability to breathe normally.
Emphysema is the fourth leading cause of death in North America. The leading cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking. Other risks factors include:
In rare cases, the genetic disorder -- alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency -- causes emphysema.
A person with emphysema will have shortness of breath -- during physical activity and when the condition is more advanced, also during rest. Patients may eventually need supplemental oxygen and may have to rely on mechanical respiratory devices. Other symptoms of emphysema include chronic cough, frequent respiratory infections, reduced appetite, weight loss and fatigue.
The goal of therapy for emphysema is to provide relief of symptoms, prevent complications and slow the progression of the disease. Quitting smoking is also essential for patients with emphysema, since continuing to use tobacco will only further damage the lungs.
Because people with emphysema are often physically limited, they may avoid any kind of physical activity. However, regular physical activity can actually improve a patient's health and wellbeing.