Chronic respiratory diseases refer to a group of long-term medical conditions that affect the respiratory system, which includes the airways, lungs, and associated structures. These conditions often lead to persistent difficulties in breathing and can significantly impact a person’s overall quality of life.
Common Types of Chronic Respiratory Diseases:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A progressive lung disease that encompasses conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is characterized by narrowed airways, reduced airflow, and difficulty exhaling.
Asthma: A chronic condition marked by inflammation of the airways, causing recurring episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma symptoms can be triggered by various factors, including allergens and irritants.
Interstitial Lung Disease: A group of disorders that affect the lung’s interstitium, the tissue between air sacs. These diseases lead to lung scarring and fibrosis, resulting in reduced lung function and oxygen exchange.
Bronchiectasis: A condition characterized by the permanent dilation of the bronchial tubes, leading to excessive mucus production, recurrent infections, and impaired clearance of mucus.
Pulmonary Hypertension: A rare condition where the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries (the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs) becomes abnormally high. This can strain the heart and limit blood flow to the lungs.
Cystic Fibrosis: A genetic disorder that affects the respiratory and digestive systems, leading to the production of thick and sticky mucus that can clog airways, causing infections and breathing difficulties.
Lung Cancer: While not exclusively a chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer is a malignancy that originates in the lungs. It can cause symptoms such as persistent cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.« Back to Glossary Index