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Treatment of Sleep Disturbance
Asthma Management Program
Management of Smoking Cessation
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Lower/Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Treatment
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The lungs are made of tubes through which air passes in and out for exchange of gases, taking in alveoli. It is disease of alveoli to which finer air conducting tubes are attached. Over a period of time, with age and exposure to various agents, these tubules get obstructed. The amount of air that can pass through these is reduced, leading to reduced oxygen supply to the lungs and thereby the various body organs.
Symptoms: The symptoms of COPD can be easily understood if we realize how COPD is caused. The progressive blockage of the air tubes causes less oxygen to reach the tissues, which is the most essential agent for all tissues and organs to function. Reduced supply produces a generalized limitation in physical activity. There are two main components to COPD - chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The symptoms indicative of COPD are as follows:
- Chronic cough - Also referred to as smoker's cough, the cough is relentless and does not subside with regular cough treatment. This is one of the first indications of COPD.
- Mucus buildup - There is constant build up of mucus which gets expelled during coughing. The person never feels completely clear of mucus, and the regular cough expectorants do not help relieve the symptoms.
- Fatigue associated with limited activity - As noted earlier, the reduced capacity of the organs limits their activities. Therefore, regular activities like walking short distances or climbing stairs can induce fatigue.
- Shortness of breath - The above fatigue is associated with shortness of breath, even with small physical exertion. A person with COPD will see marked tiredness and reduced ability to perform routine chores and feel a tightness in the chest.
- Wheezing - Passage of air through the obstructed air tubes produces a whistling sound or wheezing. It is more pronounced when there is mucus accumulation in the airways.
While there is no cure for COPD, once it sets, the following are some ways to slow its progression and reduce severity of the symptoms:
- Bronchodilators - Dilate the air tubes and ease flow of air
- Corticosteroids - Help reduce inflammation and thereby improve airflow through the tubes
- Flu vaccination - Helps curb the frequent flu attacks
- Antibiotics - To contain infections
- Pulmonary rehabilitation - A combination of breathing exercise and patient education to improve lung function.
- Oxygen therapy - In very severe cases, oxygen may be required.
- Lifestyle changes - Eating healthy foods, preventing exposure to dust and smoke, quitting smoking, breathing exercises, bi-annual medical check-ups to monitor lung functions are essential.
Knowing that you have COPD is the first step towards managing COPD, which can be managed effectively.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
When blood clot blocks one or more arteries in your lungs the condition is known as pulmonary embolism. It can cause a decrease in the oxygen levels in your blood, damage to your lungs due to sudden restrictions in the flow of blood along with adverse effects on other parts of your body. Life threatening blockage can cause death if left untreated and you should immediately contact your health care provider to get proper diagnosis. Pulmonary embolism requires various lab tests and generally requires short time to resolve.
Symptoms: The symptoms of pulmonary embolism mainly depend upon many factors pertaining to your previous medical history. Pulmonary embolism varies with the size of your lungs, the size of the clots formed in your blood, and any other underlying history of the heart or lungs. That said, pulmonary embolism has symptoms which are not similar to any two persons and will vary accordingly.
The common symptoms however may include the following and you are advised to opt for a health checkup if these are persistent in your body:
- Cough along with bloody sputum is a common symptom.
- Shortness of breath, which will become worse as the days passes by. They will appear suddenly and cause huge discomfort in breathing.
- Chest pain which may give you the feeling of a heart attack. The pain will intensify when you sit to eat or cough. Deep breath will cause problems too and will not go away easily with exertion.
- Some other symptoms include fever, excess sweat, irregular heartbeat and dizziness.
Pulmonary embolism can be diagnosed by the following methods:
- Electrocardiography (also known popularly as ECG) to measure your heart's electrical activity and functioning.
- CT plumonary angiography is gold standard for diagnosing pulmonary embolism.
- Chest x ray, which is a common and non invasive test to check your heart and lungs as well as the problems with any bones surrounding them.
- ECHO can detect secondary changes in heart due to pulmonary embolism.
Treatment of pulmonary embolism can be done with medicines if it is detected at an early stage or also if the clot is small. However, if the size of your clot is problematic and blocks the blood flow to your lungs or heart then surgery may be necessary. Open surgery and clot removal surgery are common in the treatment of pulmonary embolism and will require good regular follow up check ups. Regular leg exercises will also reduce the chances of any underlying disease.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Although your body is already in possession of the bacteria leading to tuberculosis, your immune system is able to prevent you from becoming sick. Doctors have made a distinction between latent and active tuberculosis (TB). In case of latent TB, the bacteria in the body in a passive state and it causes no symptoms, and therefore it is not contagious. But, in the case of active TB, you would become sick and may even spread the disease to others. It can take place in the first few weeks or even after several months of being infected with TB bacteria.
What are the symptoms of active TB?
If you are coughing for over three weeks and sometimes even coughing up blood, it can be a sign of TB. Chest pain and pain while coughing and breathing along with fatigue, fever, chills and night sweat are the common symptoms of TB along with loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. TB may even affect other organs of your body, including your brain, spine and kidneys. When TB takes place outside the lungs, then the signs of TB can vary as per the organs that are involved. For instance, TB in the spine can cause back pain and that in kidneys may cause blood in the urine.
What are the causes of TB?
TB is stemmed from a bacteria which spreads from individual to individual via the microscopic droplets that are released into the air. This may happen when an affected person is left untreated and he speaks or sneezes or coughs or laughs. Though the disease is contagious, it is not easy to be affected by it. As a result, you are much more likely to get affected with active tuberculosis from a person you live with or come in regular contact with, rather than a stranger. It is important to note here that people who are affected with TB and going through proper medications for over two weeks are no more contagious.
Right from the 1980s, the number of individuals affected with TB has increased dramatically, owing to the spread of HIV, which is the virus known for causing AIDS. A person infected with HIV has a weak immunity system as a result of which it becomes difficult for the body to deal with TB bacteria. So those who have AIDS are more likely to be affected with active TB and sometimes the latent form also progresses to an active one very quickly. Therefore, it is important to seek medical assistance and detect if you have any such health complications concerning TB.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
If you are experiencing a whizzing sound while you breathe or having difficulty in breathing, you are suffering from asthma. It is a medical condition characterized by paroxysmal wheezing respiration dyspnoea. There is no definite way to prevent asthma, but by following a step-by-step daily plan, you can prevent asthma attacks or keep them in check. Here are some important measures to follow to prevent asthma:
- You need to strictly follow your asthma action plan. The plan should be laid down after a detailed discussion with your doctor or healthcare team. All the medicines you require to prevent the asthma attacks will be written down for you.
- You should get vaccinated for pneumonia and influenza. This will prevent these conditions from triggering asthma attacks or flare-ups.
- You need to identify the asthma triggers and stay away from them. Several outdoors irritants and allergens from pollen to cold air can trigger asthma attacks.
- You have to monitor your breathing. By recognising the warning signs of an attack like wheezing, slight coughing or shortness of breath, you can prevent an asthma attack. You need to measure and record your peak airflow regularly using a home peak flow meter.
- By acting quickly, you can identify a fatal attack and prevent it from occurring. When the peak flow measurement decreases, you need to take your medicines immediately and abstain from any activity which may have triggered the attack.
- You need to keep taking your prescribed medicines, even if your asthma symptoms have improved. You should not change your medication schedule without consulting a doctor. It is recommended that you to bring along the medicines you take at your doctor’s appointment as he will be able to tell whether you are taking them right.
- If you use your quick relief inhaler a lot, the asthma is not under control. You need to visit your doctor as soon as possible and he/she will make some modifications to your treatment.
- For prevention of asthma, you should use allergy proof pillow covers and mattresses. You must wash your bedding every week in hot water to eliminate dust mites. You may use a dehumidifier for reducing excess moisture to prevent mold.
- Do not allow your pets in the bedroom and on the furniture. Pet dander is a common trigger of asthma and it cannot be avoided by people who own pets.
- You can also fit an air filtration system in your home. It will help in the elimination of asthma triggers such as pollen, dust mites and other allergens.
Many doctors suggest immunotherapy for asthma prevention in the form of allergy shots. Immunotherapy aims at altering a person’s immune response by making it less sensitive to asthma triggers.
If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing, shortness of breath and low blood pressure, you might have been affected with acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS. This is a fatal lung condition in which the supply of oxygen to the lungs and into the blood gets prevented. The symptoms of this syndrome develop within two days of the illness. Here are 10 important facts about ARDS you should know about:
Because of the low level of oxygen in the blood, the organs of the body may not function properly. The kidneys and brain require constant oxygen-rich blood supply and there are chances of organ failure due to ARDS.
In ARDS, the tiny blood vessels of the lungs leak more fluid than usual into the air sacs of the lungs. This happens because of infections, injuries or some other condition. The lungs cannot get filled up with air and sufficient oxygen is prevented from getting pumped into the bloodstream.
People who are prone to ARDS have some condition that may injure their lungs directly or indirectly.
The initial symptoms of ARDS include a feeling of not getting sufficient air in the lungs, low oxygen levels in the blood and rapid breathing. The diagnosis of ARDS depends on your medical history and the results from several tests and physical examinations.
The treatment of ARDS is undertaken by oxygen therapy, medicines and fluids. A patient with ARDS is likely to develop some other health condition while in the hospital, such as lung scarring, blood clots, infections and pneumothorax.
Many people recover from ARDS completely while others keep on facing certain health problems, such as shortness of breath, muscle weakness, depression and fatigue. Problems related to memory and clear thinking are also indicated.
By improving your quality of life, you can recover from ARDS. You need the support and encouragement of your family and friends. You must avoid smoking and keep away from any kind of lung irritant.
- The treatment for ARDS has showed progress in the recent years. Hence, more people are recovering from this condition. New treatment procedures are being researched on.
Lungs are the most important organ of our body that has the responsibility of taking in the oxygen and releasing out carbon dioxide. When cancer develops in it, the entire body gets imbalanced. Lung cancer leads to more death than any other type of cancer, which is why identifying the symptoms and knowing the causes are instrumental in obtaining a timely diagnosis as well as in prevention of this disease.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
In the early stages:
- Persistent coughing
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Coughing up blood
In the later stages:
Causes of Lung Cancer
Smoking: People who smoke are more prone to lung cancer. With the increase in the number of cigarettes you smoke, your chances of getting lung cancer increase too. People who don't smoke but are surrounded by the smokers also have high chances of being affected by this form of cancer.
Exposure to Asbestos: Asbestos is a group of mineral, which is present naturally in the environment. Lung cancer can occur due to the inhalation and ingestion of asbestos fibers.
Exposure to Ranon Gas: Ranon is a radioactive gas, which is formed naturally on decaying of radioactive elements. It is found in low levels in the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. Consumption of air and water having this gas leads to lung cancer.
High Levels of Air Pollution: Presence of high levels of dust particles and pollutants in the air that we breathe can cause lung cancer. 1-2% of lung cancer is caused because of it.
High Levels of Arsenic in Drinking Water: Consuming water with arsenic content is harmful as it directly affects the lungs and when the arsenic content is too high, it may lead to lung cancer.
Exposure to Chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals like uranium, coal products, gasoline, diesel exhaust and mustard gas can also cause lung cancer.
Family History of Lung Cancer: Chances of getting lung cancer increase if your parents, child or siblings are already prone to lung cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.
The symptoms of tuberculosis (TB), which is active might vary and depend on which part of the body is infected. Diagnosing TB just from its symptoms can be a difficult, as the symptoms are not for TB alone meaning the symptoms can be of other diseases as well. For the confirmation and diagnosis of TB one must get a test done for TB. However, the general symptoms of TB are tiredness, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, chills and night sweats.
- Symptoms of Pulmonary TB: Pulmonary TB is the TB of lungs. The symptoms of this are bad cough, which might have lasted for more than 3 weeks, chest pain, blood or phlegm might occur on coughing.
- Extrapulmonary TB: The TB of any body part other than pulmonary is called extrapulmonary TB. This type of TB does not affect the lungs with the exception being the extrapulmonary TB also known as Pleural TB. General symptoms of Extrapulmonary TB are same as general symptoms of Pulmonary TB.
- Symptoms of Lymph Node TB: Lymph Node TB also known as lymphadenitis is basically the enlargement and the inflammation of the lymph nodes. This is a response to the infections especially in children. The symptoms of this might be painless slow growing lymph nodes. These swollen lymph nodes can be in the neck area, though they might also be present in the groin. Lymph node TB of the neck is also called as Scrofula or TB adenitis.
- Symptoms of skeletal (bone and joint) TB: The common and the first symptoms are pain and depend on the area of the joint or the bone affected. Often it is marked with the loss of movement and curving of the affected bones and joints. The affected area also weakens and is prone to fractures.
- Spinal TB is also called as Pott Disease or TB Spondylitis: The symptoms of this depend on the affected site and the stage of the disease. However, back pain is one of the earliest symptoms.
- Symptoms of Meningitis TB: The meningitis TB starts with classical symptoms of meningitis. It usually starts with symptoms of pains and aches, fever and vague and unwell feeling. These might last for 2-8 weeks and then the evident symptoms like headaches, seizures, vomiting and stiffness might occur.
- Symptoms of Gastrointestinal or Abdominal TB: This is marked with diarrhea, abdominal pain and bleeding from rectum and anus, though the symptoms depend on the exact site.
- Symptoms of TB in children: The symptoms depend on the type and site, though the common ones being weight loss, fever and cough. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is generally used to describe a broad category of diseases. These include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, non-reversible asthma as well as some forms of bronchiectasis. All of these diseases, however, can be prevented from getting worse by taking similar measures as the causes of these diseases are very similar.
Here are the ways to prevent COPD exacerbations:
- Cleanliness: It is crucial that you do not allow infections to set in. Infections are probably the worst type of exacerbation possible in COPD. All you need to do to prevent infection is to take a little care to ensure good hygiene. Wash your hands often and do not allow people with colds or flu to come close to you.
- Take vaccines: Make sure your flu and pneumonia shots have not been missed.
- Take medicines: It is crucial that medicines for your lungs are taken on schedule, if you have COPD. The possible medicines which you could take if your doctor prescribes it includes inhaled beta-agonists, steroids and anticholinergics.
- Spirometry: Doctors often recommend the use of the portable Spirometry device, Spirometer, in case of COPD. Spirometers check the condition of the lungs by measuring various parameters to see how well the lungs are working. Spirometers can easily measure FEV1, a parameter which measures how much air can you blow out in one second. This is especially great if you do not know whether your condition has exacerbated or not.
- Corticosteroid: It is another type of medicine used, which can prevent COPD exacerbations. In its place, even inhaled beta-agonists or anticholinergics can also be used. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.
COPD, which is short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a severe form of lung disease that is characterized by increased breathlessness and obstruction of airflow from the lungs. People who are suffering from COPD are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart diseases and many other conditions. It includes progressive lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, few forms of bronchiectasis and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. The former two are the most common conditions contributing to COPD.
Chronic bronchitis induces inflammation in the airway that carries air to the lungs and fills it with mucus. This either completely blocks the airway or narrows it, causing difficulty in breathing. However in emphysema, the air sacs inside the lungs which inflate and deflate as you breathe in and out, lose their elasticity due to which less air comes in and goes out leaving you breathless.
The best way to treat COPD is to quit smoking. Your doctor may also prescribe you medications or ask you to enroll in a lung rehab program.
- Smoking: Smoking is one of the most common causes of COPD. This is because smoking is known to destroy the stretchy fibers in people's lungs and irritate the airways. Even passive smoking is unhealthy. About 90% of the people having COPD are current or former smokers.
- Genetics: Some individuals suffer from COPD even after refraining from smoking. Genes might be at the helm of COPD in such a case. AATD i.e. Alpha -1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, is a protein in the lungs, the lack of which is one of the most common genetic factor causing emphysema.
- Environmental Factors: Breathing in harmful pollutants present in your environment is also one of the causes of COPD. Fumes, dust or certain chemicals are a few examples of harmful lung irritants. Organic cooking fuel may also cause COPD. Exposing yourself to the aforementioned environmental factors for a prolonged period of time increases your risk of developing COPD substantially.
- Shortness of breath especially after exercising
- Tightness in your chest
- Unintended weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Cough accompanied by mucus
- Physical Exam where your doctor monitors the functioning of your lungs.
- Questioning about your past health (Smoking or other harmful lung irritants).
- Spirometry and other breathing tests.
- Chest x-rays and other tests to eliminate other problems which could be causing your symptoms. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a pulmonologist.
Tuberculosis refers to an infectious disease associated with the lungs, which is mostly caused by bacteria. There are two types of tuberculosis, that are pulmonary tuberculosis and extrapulmonary tuberculosis. There are various types under each type of tuberculosis. Here are some the possible treatments for both pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
What is pulmonary tuberculosis?
Pulmonary tuberculosis is a type of disease in which bacteria invade your lungs. It is possible that the bacteria in your lungs could kill you. However, fortunately if you have been taking the right medicines for your bacterial infection you can get cured immediately. The name of the bacteria which causes tuberculosis is known as the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, Mycobacterium tuberculosis can attack other parts of the body as well. When this happens, it is known as extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
What is extra-pulmonary tuberculosis?
Extrapulmonary tuberculosis is when tuberculosis affects in parts of the body other than the lungs. There are many parts of the body which tuberculosis can affect, including the lymph nodes, nervous system as well as the bone and joints. Luckily, it is easily curable.
Treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis
Firstly, it is worth noting that latent tuberculosis has no symptoms and there is no way you can pass it to another person either. However, it is still crucial that you take treatment for it. If you do not complete your treatment, then your tuberculosis will progress to a very dangerous form of tuberculosis. This is known as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is sometimes abbreviated as MDR TB. There are plenty of medicines which people are recommended to cure tuberculosis. These include:
Treatment for extrapulmonary tuberculosis
Extrapulmonary tuberculosis has pretty much the same symptoms as pulmonary tuberculosis. This is because extrapulmonary tuberculosis is the exact same disease which occurs to the patient, it is just that it affects a different body part. Therefore, the exact treatment recommended for pulmonary tuberculosis can be used to cure extrapulmonary tuberculosis. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.