Lung Information Center

Our lungs are an important organ of our body and are responsible for a very vital function, which is the core of our being, i.e. respiration. The lungs are responsible for transporting oxygen into our body and releasing carbon dioxide and it is very important to maintain this function if we want to go on living. We have 2 lungs in our body and each one consists of lobes. Our rib cage protects our lungs from external damage. Diaphragm is a muscle, which is shaped like a dome and this diaphragm along with the lungs helps us with our respiration, i.e. inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide.

Lung Information Center

There are many diseases and conditions, which can affect our lungs, such as Cancer, Influenza, Bronchiolitis, Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Brown Lung Disease, Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis etc….Some of them are quite common and you may have heard of them; whereas some of them you may be hearing for the first time and must be wondering "what the heck is that?"… Well, we have covered many such common and uncommon diseases and medical conditions of the lungs in our LUNG INFORMATION CENTER.

Given below is a brief look into what we have covered, but for more information, please refer to the left side menu and read under our LUNG INFORMATION CENTER to find out in detail about the various lung conditions, their symptoms, investigations, prevention, treatment and prognosis, which we have covered in great length.

Swine Flu or Influenza (H1N1 Virus)

Swine Flu or Influenza (H1N1 Virus)

Swine Flu is a respiratory system disorder. The cause is an influenza virus present in the pigs. Symptoms comprise of fever, headache, decreased appetite, weakness, barking cough, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Risk factors are: Being young children, aged individuals, sick people, people with weak immune system, pregnant women and overweight people. Treatment consists of preventive measures like taking vaccinations for swine flu. Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza are also being used for treatment.

Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia

Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia

Also known as BOOP disease, it is a noninfectious type of pneumonia. It occurs as a result of inflammation of bronchioles and the surrounding tissues. Typical symptoms are: Fever, chills, weakness, breathlessness, cough and weight loss. Common causes of BOOP are bacteria, parasites, virus, etc. Steroid therapy is the most effective choice of treatment; and with this treatment, the prognosis of this disease is good.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

This is a lung disorder; and premature children are more vulnerable to this disease. It occurs commonly in premature babies who do not have fully developed lungs and extremely sick infants who require ventilation for a long period of time. Symptoms comprise of cyanotic skin, severe cough, rapid breathing and dyspnea. Investigations done are: ABG, CT scan and x-ray of the chest and pulse ox testing. Supportive treatment is given along with medications like bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

For more details on this condition, please refer to the left side menu under our LUNG INFORMATION CENTER.

Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever

Byssinosis or Brown Lung Disease or Monday Fever

This is a type of lung disease which occurs primarily as a result of occupational hazards, such as exposure to cotton dust etc. Smokers are at a higher risk for developing this condition. Symptoms comprise of chest tightness, cough, wheezing and worsening symptoms upon cotton exposure. Treatment is done by avoiding exposure and providing proper ventilation at the work place. Bronchodilators, steroids, nebulizers are also used as by way of treatment.

Caplan's Syndrome or Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis

This is a condition where there is scarring of the lungs due to exposure to coal mine dust, silica and asbestos. The main cause is dust inhalation from coal mining which results in inflammation and nodule formation in the lungs leading to breathing difficulties. Symptoms comprise of skin nodules, breathlessness, cough, wheezing and swelling and pain in the joints. There is no specific treatment for Caplan's syndrome. Prevention is the best treatment possible. Treatment can be done for other associated conditions, such as joint problems etc.

For more information on this condition, please refer to our LUNG INFORMATION CENTER present on the left side menu.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

This is a fatal pulmonary syndrome caused by a group of Hantavirus, specifically the Black Creek Canal Virus, the Sin Nombre Virus and the New York Virus. Symptoms comprise of fever, muscle aches, cough, headache, lethargy and breathlessness. Primary symptoms are sudden onset of dyspnea and pulmonary edema followed by respiratory failure, which is a very dangerous and serious condition. Currently there is no known treatment for this disease. Supportive treatment is done with ventilator support. The prognosis of this disease is not good.

Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV

RSV virus is the main cause for infection of the respiratory system and is one of the leading reasons behind hospitalizations of infants and children suffering from respiratory system infections. Symptoms resemble the common cold and also comprise of fever, restlessness and appetite loss. Nebulized hypertonic saline is used for treatment of RSV. Other than this, supportive treatment is done by giving fluids and oxygen till the virus is expelled from the body.

Lung Cancer or Carcinoma of the Lung

Lung Cancer or Carcinoma of the Lung

Cancer originating in the lungs is Lung Cancer. Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. The different types of Lung Cancer are: Small Cell Lung Cancer and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Risk Factors are: Smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to chemicals like asbestos, nickel etc. and having a family history. Symptoms are: Persistent cough, breathlessness, coughing up blood, wheezing, chest pain, voice hoarseness, headache and unintentional weight loss.

Investigations Done Are:

  • X-rays
  • CT Scan
  • Sputum Cytology
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy

Treatment comprises of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted drug therapy.

To know more about lung cancer, please refer to the left side menu under our LUNG INFORMATION CENTER where we have provided the type, stages and treatment of lung cancer in extensive detail.

Pleurisy or Pleuritis

Pleurisy or Pleuritis

This is a condition where there is inflammation of the pleura resulting in chest pain upon breathing or coughing. Risk Factors are: Infections like pneumonia or tuberculosis which can lead to pleurisy. Symptoms comprise of chest pain which may radiate towards the shoulders, fever, chills, appetite loss, dry cough, cyanosis, dyspnea and tachypnea.

Investigations Done Include:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam.
  • Chest x-ray
  • Chest ultrasound
  • Chest CT scan
  • CBC
  • Thoracentesis
  • Pleural biopsy
  • Thoracoscopy

Treatment is done according to the cause and consists of rest, antibiotics, painkillers and sometimes surgery.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

This is a respiratory system disorder and is caused by coronavirus. Symptoms comprise of flu-like symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, tiredness, cough, etc. Treatment is done by giving medicine to bring down the fever, oxygen supplementation and other supportive treatment.

For more information please read on the left side menu under our LUNG INFORMATION CENTER.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis or Allergic Alveolitis

This lung condition occurs as a result of alveolar inflammation due to extreme sensitivity to organic dust. Symptoms range from acute to sub-acute to chronic; and consist of fever, chills, cough, chest pressure, dyspnea, headache, weakness and weight loss. Prevention is the best form of treatment for this condition. Steroids (prednisolone) can be also used for alleviating the symptoms.

Other Lung Diseases & Conditions Which are Covered in This Section:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 2, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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