Respiratory Disease is the term for diseases of the respiratory system. These include diseases of the lung, pleural cavity, bronchial tubes, trachea, upper respiratory tract and of the nerves and muscles of breathing. Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting such as the common cold to life-threatening such as bacterial pneumonia or pulmonary embolism. They are a common and important cause of illness and death. In the US, people suffer 1 billion colds per year. One in seven people in the UK are affected by some form of chronic lung disease, most commonly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Respiratory disease is responsible for over 10% of hospitalizations and over 16% of deaths in Canada (including lung cancer). The study of respiratory disease is known as pulmonology.
Asthma is a debilitating and potentially deadly chronic inflammatory disease of the airway which mainly arises from allergies. You may characterize it by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction and coughing. It may conditionally characterized by paroxysmal attacks of bronchospasm causing difficulty in breathing. One way to manage asthma is to stay away from triggers.
What are the causes of asthma?
Asthma attacks may be caused by dust, pollens, foods, climatic changes, animals like cats ,dogs etc., some kind of bacteria, emotional upsets, food and indiscretions, smoking etc. When the attack of asthma is accounted, the patient may not be able to breathe in and out because of congestion of chest, air passages and throat.
Genes are passed from parents to children and although there is no specific gene that causes asthma. The cause of asthma is unknown till date. The most common allergens are microscopic droppings of dust mites and cockroaches, airborne pollens and molds, plants and plant proteins and enzymes.
Chronic cough is a cough that does not resolve (go away). Chronic cough is not a disease in itself; rather it is a symptom of other disorders. It is a common problem and the reason for many doctor visits.
What are causes of chronic cough?
Some common causes of chronic cough include asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus problems (for example sinus infection), and esophageal reflux of stomach contents. In rare occasions, chronic cough may be the result of aspiration of foreign objects into the lungs (usually in children). It is very important to obtain a chest x-ray if a chronic cough is present. The following pertains to patients who have a normal chest x-ray.
An allergy refers to an exaggerated reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. It is exaggerated because these foreign substances are usually seen by the body as harmless and no response occurs in non- allergic people. Allergic people's bodies recognize the foreign substance and one part of the immune system is turned on. Allergy-producing substances are called "allergens." Examples of allergens include pollens, dust mite, molds, danders, and foods. To understand the language of allergy it is important to remember that allergens are substances that are foreign to the body and can cause an allergic reaction in certain people.
When an allergen comes in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in persons who are allergic to it. When you inappropriately react to allergens that are normally harmless to other people, you are having an allergic reaction and can be referred to as allergic or atopic. Therefore, people who are prone to allergies are said to be allergic or "atopic."