Different Types of Pulmonary Infections

pulmonary infections

Many infections can afflict the human body, but a set of them target the lungs. These conditions range from the manageable such as asthma to more severe chronic diseases including COPD and cancer. Approximately 235 million people suffer from asthma, and more than 200 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Infections of the lungs are divided into three main categories: airway diseases, lung tissue diseases, and circulation-related conditions. Some overlap and fit into more than one category.

Asthma

Have you ever seen someone use an inhaler, or feel out of breath during strenuous activity? A common respiratory condition known as asthma could be to blame.

This chronic affliction causes patients to develop inflammation in the airways that can cause difficulty breathing. Dry coughing, a tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath are common symptoms. Everything from pollution to allergies can trigger these types of reactions, but many patients are able to manage their asthma through the use of anti-inflammatory meds and a rescue inhaler for dire circumstances of difficulty breathing.

COPD

Chronic obstructive bronchitis and emphysema are both categorized as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is the third-highest cause of death in the U.S. Bronchial tubes are responsible for getting air to the lungs. When the bronchial tubes are inflamed, bronchitis can occur. These types of bronchial conditions make it cumbersome to clear the lungs of bacteria, dust, and irritants. Inability to do so leaves certain people at risk for serious lung infections.

Increased shortness of breath, more amounts of mucus, fever, sore throat, and unusual sinus drainage are common warning signs of an infection. Most people know that cigarette smoke is detrimental to health; however, many might not be aware of its correlation to COPD. Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke is a useful tip for protecting your lungs from this type of problem. Keeping your home environment clean and free of allergens – such as mold, mildew, and dust – is also advised.

Cystic Fibrosis

In some cases, people are born with pulmonary infections or develop them early in life – one example is cystic fibrosis. This progressive genetic disease causes people to develop perpetual lung infections, greatly reducing their ability to breathe over time. In addition to targeting the lungs and causing them extensive damage, CF affects the pancreas as mucus buildup blocks the release of digestive enzymes.

Ultimately, this can prevent those with the disease from absorbing vital nutrients from the foods they consume. Incessant coughing, wheezing, inability to gain weight, and frequent lung infections (such as bronchitis or pneumonia) are some symptoms of CF.

Expert Lung Care in Illinois

Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a broad spectrum of breathing disorders from chronic cough to chest pains.

Our physicians and nurse practitioners pride themselves on providing expert personalized care to each patient. For more information, call our office at 8154777350, or request an appointment using our form online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Spotting the Warning Signs of Lung Cancer

If you’ve ever been a smoker or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals due to your occupation, you probably know you're at a higher risk for lung cancer than the rest of the population. Sadly, lung cancer is almost always diagnosed quite late — often too

How to Stay Active Despite Asthma

Is your asthma making you think twice about pursuing an active lifestyle? You can still participate in sports and recreational fun as long as you take precautions and know your limits.

Why Pneumonia Is So Dangerous for the Elderly

If you’re an elderly patient or caring for an older loved one, learn more about how pneumonia can affect you. Find out how to prevent or treat your condition before it turns severe, especially since pneumonia can have potentially fatal consequences.

What Can I Do About Chronic Bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis is a dangerous condition that can lead to even more serious lung diseases. Do you think you suffer from chronic bronchitis? Contact your doctor immediately to find the best way to reduce your symptoms.

Adjusting to Life With a CPAP Machine

A CPAP machine can be a fantastic treatment option for those with obstructive sleep apnea. But it can take some time to adjust to living and sleeping with this machine. Here are some tips to help you make the transition smoother.