An Overview On Lung Diseases


Lung diseases are medical conditions that affect many in the world. In the US alone, there are millions of people who have lung diseases and seek treatment from low-income health clinics. Our lungs are a part of a very complex system and they expand and contract innumerable times to bring in oxygen and move out carbon dioxide. A few commonly observed variants of lung diseases are discussed below.


Lung Diseases Affecting The Airways 

Our windpipe branches into small tubes called bronchi, which in turn branches into small tubes inside the lungs. Many diseases can affect these airways and some of the common ones are asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, and cystic fibrosis.


Lung Diseases Damaging The Interstitium

The frail lining that is present between the air sacs is known as the interstitium. A network of tiny blood vessels covers the interstitium and allows gas transfer between the blood and alveoli. Different types of lung disease affect the interstitium and some of them are pulmonary edema, interstitial lung disease, and pneumonia.


Lung Diseases Affecting The Alveoli 

The airways end in small air sacs called alveoli and most of the lung tissue is made of these air sacs. Many types of lung diseases can affect these air sacs and some of them are tuberculosis, lung cancer, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, emphysema, pneumoconiosis, and pulmonary edema.


Lung Diseases Affecting Blood Vessels 

It is the right side of our heart that pumps the low oxygen blood to the lungs via the pulmonary arteries. These arteries can also have infections and diseases and some of them are pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary embolism.


Lung Diseases Damaging The Pleura 

The lining that encircles the lungs is the pleura. With every breath, the pleura on the surface of the lungs slide along the chest wall. Diseases can affect the pleura and these include pneumothorax, pleural effusion, and mesothelioma.


Lung Diseases Affecting Chest Wall 

Our chest wall also has a major role in facilitating breathing. Various muscles connect the ribs to each other, thereby allowing the chest to expand while breathing in air. In addition, our diaphragm descends with every breath and also helps in chest expansion. Some of the common diseases affecting the chest wall include neuromuscular disorders, and obesity hyperventilation syndrome.

Shared above are some of the common diseases affecting our lungs. If you suffer from chest pain or any discomfort while breathing visit an affordable health clinic or low-income clinics in your area to get yourself diagnosed and treated. 

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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