Chronic lower respiratory disease is a group of ailments affecting the lungs. The diseases are prevalent among those who smoke, but everyone is at risk.
What are the types?
Chronic lower respiratory disease is an umbrella term for various lung diseases. The usual forms include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – this is defined by reduced flow of air in and out of the lungs. This reduction in the airflow can be brought about by various factors including reduced elasticity in the air tubes and alveoli, breakdown of the walls between the alveoli and thickening and inflammation of the air tube lining.
- Emphysema – the air sacs in the lungs are damaged which makes it difficult for the body to acquire the oxygen it requires.
- Chronic bronchitis – once the lining of the airways is swollen and reddened, it is an indication of chronic bronchitis. Overtime, the swelling causes the airways to constrict and end up partly clogged with mucus that could not be cleared.
What are the causes of chronic lower respiratory disease?
It is important to note that cigarette smoking is the main cause of these conditions. Nevertheless, being exposed to air pollutants in the workplace or house, hereditary factors and respiratory infections might also play a role in the development of chronic lower respiratory disease.
The seriousness of the condition and treatment tend to vary depending on the type of chronic lower respiratory disease. Among those who smoke, one aspect that can aid with the treatment is cessation of smoking.
It is also vital to avoid exposure to smoke and other air pollutants. The doctor will also create a pulmonary rehabilitation regimen that teaches management techniques as well as help improve their quality of life.
Some symptoms such as wheezing, or coughing can be managed with medications. Among those who have low blood oxygen levels due to chronic lower respiratory disease, oxygen therapy is given.