Understanding Respiratory Problems

Respiratory problems—although common—can cause a plethora of trouble for those who deal with one or more on a daily basis. As a result, many may find them both uncomfortable—and debilitating—depending on the extent of their diagnosis. For, such a broad category holds a wide range of health issues going from 1. viruses to 2. chronic diseases. These two categories allow each respiratory problem to be classified into one or another.

First and foremost are viruses which consist of bronchitis, common cold, croup, influenza, and other such infections. Bronchitis is the “inflammation of the lining of one’s bronchial tubes (which carries air to and from one’s lungs), which causes one to cough up thickened mucus”, the common cold is “a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract)”, croup is “an infection of the upper airway, which obstructs breathing and causes a characteristic barking cough”, and influenza (flu) “tends to come on suddenly, and includes symptoms such as a fever over 100.4 degrees fahrenheit, aching muscles, chills, etc”.

Second is chronic diseases which are “diseases that persist for a long time” which last for 3 or more months. These consist of things such as COPD, asthma, lung cancer, etc. COPD, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is “a lung disease characterized by chronic obstruction of lung airflow that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible”, asthma is “a respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing, and usually results from an allergic reaction”, and lung cancer is “the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue”.

All in all, people who are struggling with respiratory problems ranging from the common cold to lung cancer, must look at all the factors—and/or circumstances—in regards to such. For, there are a variety of aspects that may play a key role in one’s respiratory health such as his/her environmental exposure. For example, one can come across allergens within the air—like pollen and mold—which can significantly contribute to the health of his/her lungs.

Another scenario is where one either smokes directly, or resides in an environment where he/she comes into contact with smoke on a daily basis; this can also take a toll on one’s lungs. That’s why it is important that individuals take the time to be examined by a health professional early on—when they begin to experience symptoms of a respiratory infection—so that they can receive the treatment they need.    

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