Common Respiratory System Illnesses
Our respiratory tract can be affected by various disorders and problems. Here are some of the issues that you may encounter:
- Stuffy nose and common cold: Virus may target the nasal passage and pharynx. Virus can easily enter our body through the respiratory system. Cells of the nasal passage membranes are particularly vulnerable to virus invasion. Viruses could easily penetrate cells and destroy these cells from inside. Our immune system will respond to this and concentrated level of white blood cells will cause membranes to swell. The mucus secretion is increased to remove much of the virus from the respiratory system.
- Hay fever: Hay fever is essentially an allergy reaction of our respiratory system. Allergy happens when our immune system overreacts to various irritants, such as pollen or dust. Common symptoms of allergy include runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. It’s often a seasonal response to higher level of pollens in the air.
- Laryngitis: It’s essential the inflammation of the larynx, due to various factors, such as viral infection, cigarette smoke and voice overuse. Laryngitis directly affects the way we speak. People who are affected by laryngitis could only whisper or have hoarse voice.
- Bronchitis: Bronchitis is the inflammation of membrane. It happens due to the bronchi or the membranes lining the bronchioles. Bronchitis can happen due to viral or bacterial infections. Exposure to irritating chemicals may also trigger bronchitis.
- Pneumonia: Pneumonia happens when the alveoli is infected by bacteria or viruses. This illness could potentially affect our lungs. When fluid builds up inside lings, alveoli will be inflamed. The inflammation and fluid build up could impede the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide between capillaries and alveoli.
- Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is caused by a specific type of bacteria, tuberculosis bacterium. While lungs are the prime target, other tissues in our body could be affected as well. If not properly treated, lung infection can damage the tissues. Earlier, it’s considered effective enough to control tuberculosis with antibiotics. However, antibiotic-resistant strains are emerging, posing potential problems around the world.
- Emphysema: Emphysema is a non-contagious disease, but it can destroy the alveolar tissue. Eventually, remaining alveoli will be weakened and enlarged. Bronchioles collapse during exhalation and air will remain inside the alveoli. Eventually, the ability of lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide will be affected. Emphysema can be caused by infection, air pollution or genetic factor.
- Lung cancer: Lung cancer is a potentially fatal illness, if not treated soon. Unfortunately, there are little to no symptoms of early lung cancer stages, which cause it to remain undetected until later stages. Your best bet is to lower the risk of lung cancer. Main carcinogens of lung cancers are tobacco smoke, asbestos dust and uranium. If you have higher risks of lung cancer, it’s important to regularly perform examinations. Prognosis of later lung cancer stages is often poor, so you need to be aware of your conditions. Heavy smokers and people who live in areas with polluted with tobacco smoke can eventually have lung cancer.