Some of the most common medical problems people encounter are breathing difficulties caused by diseases in the lungs. Coughs, shortness of breath, and other breathing problems are some of the leading causes of visits to emergency rooms. Issues with and diseases of the lungs can be severe, and, if you are experiencing shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties, you should visit one of the Emergency Hospital System’s emergency room. We are conveniently located, accept walk-ins, and have short wait times.
Lung diseases generally affect one or a combination of the following three areas: the lung’s air pathways, the lung tissue itself, or the lung’s circulatory system. Within each of these areas are various diseases, many of which are serious and should be treated by a medical professional. Some symptoms of lung problems include the following:
- A chronic cough that persists and doesn’t go away,
- Coughing up blood,
- Shortness of breath,
- Feeling weak and tired,
- Chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing.
Any or all of these symptoms may indicate a lung problem or disease which should be evaluated and treated. There are many causes of lung diseases, but most are related to smoking, infections, or a person’s genetic makeup.
Conditions affecting the lung’s air pathways are some of the most prevalent causes of breathing issues. Some of the most common lung air pathway problems include:
- Asthma – a persistent inflammation of the air pathways brought about by allergies, pollutions, or infections.
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and the related disease Emphysema – a lack of proper functioning of the lung’s air sacs making it difficult to exhale or inhale. Most frequently associated with smoking.
- Bronchitis – characterized by a chronic cough. Caused by viruses related to colds and flu.
- Cystic Fibrosis – lung sacs fill with mucus causing repeated infections. This disease is related to a person’s genetic makeup.
- Pneumonia – a bacterial infection in the lung’s air sacs.
- Tuberculosis (TB) – a severe, progressive pneumonia-type lung disease caused by a particular strain of bacteria. In recent years, the incidence of tuberculosis has been decreasing in the United States.
- Pneumoconiosis – a group of lung diseases that result from inhaling harmful substances such as asbestos.
The second category of lung disease occurs in tissue in and around the lungs. Between the air sacs is a microscopically thin membrane containing blood vessels which absorb oxygen from the lungs and delivers it to the rest of the body. Certain lung diseases can affect this area and include:
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis – scar tissues that hinder the transfer of oxygen into the bloodstream,
- Sarcoidosis – an inflammatory disease, and
- Autoimmune Diseases.
Finally, some lung diseases are related to problems with the lung’s circulatory system. These problems can affect the absorption of oxygen, result in blood clots, or other issues. Diseases that affect the lung’s blood vessels or other parts of the lung include:
- Pulmonary Embolism – the occurrence of blood clots in the lung,
- Pleural Effusion – fluids filling the lining of the chest wall, and
- Lung Cancers including Mesothelioma.
These and many other types of lung diseases can cause shortness of breath, a tired or weak feeling, and persistent coughing. If you exhibit any of these symptoms or feel you may be experiencing lung or breathing difficulties, promptly go to an Emergency Hospital System’s emergency room or another emergency facility for medical attention. We accept walk-ins, our wait times are short, and our experienced staff is on duty 24/7/365 to help you with any medical emergency. Don’t let a serious condition go unchecked. Stop by or call for an appointment, 281-592-5400.