- Lung disease is any disease or disorder where lung function does not work properly. There are three main types of lung diseases:
Obstructive lung disease -- a decrease in the exhaled air flow caused by a narrowing or blockage of the lung airways, which can occur with asthma, emphysema, bronchiectasis, and chronic bronchitis, most often due to smoking. People with airway diseases often say they feel as if they are "trying to breathe out through a straw."
Lung circulation diseases -- These diseases affect the blood vessels in the lungs. They are caused by clotting, scarring, or inflammation of the blood vessels. They affect the ability of the lungs to take up oxygen and to release carbon dioxide. These diseases may also affect heart function.
Most lung diseases actually involve a combination of these categories, such as emphysema, which involves both airflow obstruction and oxygenation problems. Many lung diseases involve a combination of these three types.
What causes Lung Disease?
Did you know? Smoking causes lung cancer and many other types of lung disease. Get help quitting smoking.
Experts don't know the causes of all types of lung disease, but they do know the causes of some. These include:
- Smoking. Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is the number one cause of lung disease. Don't start smoking, or quit if you already smoke. If you live or work with a smoker, avoid secondhand smoke. Ask smokers to smoke outdoors. Secondhand smoke is especially bad for babies and young children.
- Radon. This colorless, odorless gas is present in many homes and is a recognized cause of lung cancer. You can check for radon with a kit bought at many hardware stores. Radon can be reduced in your home if you find out there are high levels.
- Asbestos. This is natural mineral fiber that is used in insulation, fireproofing materials, car brakes, and other products. Asbestos can give off small fibers that are too small to be seen and can be inhaled. Asbestos harms lung cells, causing lung scarring and lung cancer. It can cause mesothelioma, which is a cancer that forms in the tissue covering the lungs and many other organs of the body.
- Air pollution. Recent studies suggest that some air pollutants like car exhaust may contribute to asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and other lung diseases.
Some diseases that affect the lungs, like the flu, are caused by germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi).
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Major lung diseases include:
Other lung diseases include:
Aspergillosis - acute invasive
Lung disease can lead 2 cancer
Metastatic lung cancer
Pneumonia in immunodeficient patient
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation
Pulmonary histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma)
Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease
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