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Treatment of Tuberculosis
Treatment of Sleep Disturbance
Asthma Management Program
Management of Smoking Cessation
Oxygen Therapy Treatment
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Lower/Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Treatment
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If you are facing difficulties in breathing, especially in the process of exhaling, you are suffering from emphysema. Emphysema is a condition in which the air sacs of the lungs are damaged and enlarged, causing breathlessness. It occurs as a result of several triggers, smoking being the most common one. Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People with this condition struggle to exhale, which implies that there is some obstruction in the air flow. This disease has no permanent cure but by quitting smoking, you can stop it from getting worse.
The progression and severity of emphysema occurs with the staging systems. The staging of the condition can help in developing a prognosis.
The Gold emphysema staging system
Gold is a major emphysema staging system created by a group known as the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. The amount of air a patient can exhale forcefully in one second is determined during this stage. It is also referred to as the forced expiratory volume or FEV1.
The staging is as follows:
- Stage 1: Mild emphysema (FEV1 greater than 80% of normal)
- Stage 2: Moderate emphysema (FEV less than 80%, but more than 50% normal)
- Stage 3: Severe emphysema (FEV lesser than 50%, but more than 30% normal)
- Stage 4: Extremely severe emphysema. (FEV lesser than 30% of normal or lesser than 50% normal, with low levels of oxygen in the blood.
The BODE emphysema staging system
The condition affects several abilities. The BODE index, an acronym for BMI (body mass index), obstruction, dyspnea (breathlessness), exercise capacity (health index) is another staging system for emphysema in which the emphysema’s impact on several areas of life are measured. They include the following:
- Body mass index (B)
- Airflow limitation or obstruction (O), which is measured by pulmonary function tests
- Breathless or dyspnea (D), which is assessed thoroughly via a questionnaire
- Exercise capacity (E), which is measured to check how long a person with emphysema can walk in a span of six minutes
The prognosis of emphysema is impossible to be determined in any person individually. The staging system helps to identify the severity of the condition, but the future cannot be predicted. Not many studies have been undertaken for the determination of the effects of emphysema on life expectancy. The best research that has been carried out included around 100 people, which is very less. The condition varies largely among people, even if they are in the same stage.
The statistics available on emphysema are not reliable enough for individuals who wish to know their life expectancy. It is considered that if a patient falls in a higher stage, his/her long-term life expectancy is less.
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!
Asthma, the long term inflammatory disease, affects the airways of lungs. A number of symptoms, including obstruction of air flow into the lungs, which can cause breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, allergic reactions and swelling of the tubes, points to it. The causes include genes as well as pollution in the environment which is resulting in an increasing number of cases. The diagnosis is usually done with a spirometry and the treatment is a long term process.
Women who suffer from asthma have to be especially vigilant during pregnancy as it can lead to a number of complications including less air passage to the foetus. This can result in a slow rate of development and certain anomalies in extreme cases. So how can a pregnant lady manage asthma? Here are a few tips:
- Involve Pulmologist: To begin with, the obstetrician and the pulmonologist must both be well aware of the situation. The pulmonologist must be given detailed information with regards to allergies as well as past treatment and medical history so that the treatment is done systematically to prevent an asthmatic attack and any complications to the foetus.
- Lung Function: During pregnancy, the doctor must monitor lung function carefully with monthly check ups to ensure that the right amount of oxygen is reaching the foetus. This is done because the severity of asthma changes in most women during pregnancy. A spriometry or peak flow metre can be used to measure the lung function. Also, the foetal movements must be monitored on a monthly basis, or rather, once every 28 days, to be more specific.
- Influenza: Flu is a common outcome of asthma, especially when it becomes severe during pregnancy. The onset of flu or influenza must be prevented at all costs with the help of a flu vaccine that will be effective at least for a season at a time. It is a pregnancy safe injection.
- Triggers: There are many things that may trigger an asthmatic attack or an allergic reaction that can lead to the same. Ensure that you do not suffer from these triggers by avoiding dust, pollen, tobacco smoke and varied other substances that can lead to choking and wheezing.
- Medication: One must ask the doctor about pregnancy safe inhaled corticosteroids that one can take during pregnancy if and when the need arises.
It is recommended to take medication for asthma during pregnancy only after a consultation with the doctor. Also, do not reduce the dose of the medicine unless your doctor has recommended a change. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Air pollution is known to take a toll on the lungs of even the healthiest adults. So it comes as no surprise that the effects of this pollution on the lungs of children is deemed as a grave situation, full of health hazards including the onset of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorders and conditions like asthma. Read on to find out more about the link between air pollution and its effect on the lungs of children.
- Children's Lungs: Mostly, all the organs of a child's body are considered delicate and not fully matured until the child reaches a certain age. The main and largest part of the child's lungs will usually grow only after the child has been born - much like the arms and legs. In fact, it is a medically proven fact that about 80% of the tiniest of air sacs grow after the child's birth. These are called the alveoli and they facilitate the transfer of the oxygen into the blood stream with a life sustaining function that is built into our lungs. These alveoli continue to grow until the child becomes an adult.
- Immunity and Infections: Like the lungs of the child, the immunity of the child is also still in its growth phase, and very much unlike the immunity that an adult enjoys. This makes the child more susceptible to infections that are usually carried by air pollution in today's day and age of urban living when myriad pollutants are sent into the air every single day. Also, since children play outdoors more often and spend more time breathing in this air, they are more prone to these infections and lung or respiratory ailments due to this reason. Various studies and tests have shown inflammation in the respiratory passages caused by deposits of carbon dioxide emissions in the lungs of children.
- Symptoms: Usually, the very first symptoms that show that air pollution is affecting the child's lungs can be seen when persistent coughing and wheezing sets in, without any proper reason. Also, when the child faces bronchial infections time and time again, then this points at the hazardous effects of air pollution as well.
- Respiratory problems: Apart from respiratory problems which can lead to asthmatic attacks, hay fever and allergies as well as other COPD ailments, there are other related dangers. These can happen when constant choking and obstruction of oxygen due to pollution become a regular affair. These include strokes and brain damage which can eventually also lead to a higher risk of dementia.
The government and citizens need to ensure that there is a drop in particle air pollution so as to ensure that children do not fall prey to such health problems. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Pulmonary diseases are some of the most commonly experienced health conditions all over the world. Millions of people suffer due to various causes including genetics, smoking, pollutants and infection. Now lungs are one of the most important and complex organs of the body. They are the apparatus through which oxygen enters and carbon dioxide gets expelled.
Lungs expand and contract on a constant basis to ensure that we can breathe properly. Let us find out more about lung or pulmonary diseases.
- Asthma: This is one of the most common and potentially fatal conditions that affect children and adults. It grips the airways formed by the bronchi which branch off into smaller tubes from the main trachea that holds them. This condition causes inflammation, and even spasms, which can lead to wheezing and breathlessness. The main triggers of asthma attacks include allergies, infections and pollutants that may escape into the airways.
- COPD: This is also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. It is an umbrella term used for various lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties due to an obstruction of the airways. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions that falls under COPD, and is usually characterised by persistent, hacking coughs.
- Cystic Fibrosis: This is another condition that affects the airways by causing poor passage of mucus from the bronchial tubes. This condition is a genetic one where the mucus that gathers eventually becomes a lung infection.
- Pneumonia: This is a condition that causes an infection in the alveoli, which are the tiny tubes that the airways branch into. These are air sacs that can catch myriad infections like pneumonia.
- Tuberculosis: This is also a kind of pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. This condition usually attacks the air sacs of the lungs and can be a potentially fatal disease if it is not treated on time. The patient will require immediate hospitalisation.
- Pulmonary Edema: This condition is caused by fluid leaks from the tiny blood vessels into the surrounding air sacs within the lungs. It can also be caused due to heart failure as well as back pressure which falls on the lungs. Direct injury to the lungs can also lead to this condition.
- Lung Cancer: This is a fatal disease which can be found in any part of the lungs. It has many forms and the type as well as the location usually determines the kind of treatment option that will be followed.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: When the lungs suffer a sudden injury which is usually caused by a bout of serious illness, it is called ARDS. Treatment involves the use of life support ventilation.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Silicosis is a lung disorder that develops as a result of exposure to dust, which has silica (chemical compounds) content. Silicosis significantly makes you prone to other serious health disorders. It is an incurable disorder and a prescribed dosage of medications in the form of cough syrups or antibiotics can help in the regulation of the symptoms. Inhalers are also useful to clear the blocked air passages. In extreme cases, the doctors might suggest a transplant of the lung to eradicate silicosis.
Causes: Silicosis is caused primarily due to a long- term exposure (usually 5-15 years) to silica. But a short-term exposure (for a few weeks or months) can also result in silicosis, which tends to worsen considerably as time progresses, if not diagnosed in its early stages. Silica is a natural dust particle, which is found in abundance in rocks, sand, bricks or concrete. Once silica gets into your body through inhalation, these particles tend to damage the tissues of the lungs by inflicting minor incisions. This considerably disfigures the lungs, thereby making the whole process of breathing rather troublesome. Long-term exposure to silica might further lead to lung cancer. People who work in mines, glass or asphalt manufacturing industries, iron and steel industries and construction sites are at increased risks of developing this condition.
Symptoms: The Symptoms of Silicosis begin mildly, but tend to worsen with time. The symptoms of Silicosis are as follows:
- The initial symptoms include severe weariness, repeated instances of coughing and experiencing trouble while breathing. These symptoms usually recur as time progresses.
- In the latter stages of silicosis, the symptoms gradually worsen accompanied by severe pain in the chest along with fever, night sweat and sudden loss of body weight.
Silicosis might make you susceptible to other infections related to the respiratory systems such as tuberculosis.
Prevention: In order to prevent Silicosis, you should wear suitable protective gear and a respirator on your face while working in a place which has risks of silica exposure.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Tuberculosis is a lung related disease that is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis spreads through the air and is a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing and spitting. The symptoms of this condition include coughing, blood discharge while coughing, fever, extreme weight loss, and chills. Against general myths, this disease can be treated and is curable too. Effective, timely diagnosis and treatment with the correct methods and medication are required. Let us find out the various means for effective treatment of tuberculosis.
Diagnosis: Let us first look at the diagnosis method that will help in detecting the presence of the bacteria in the body. The doctor will take a blood sample and conduct a series of lab tests in order to diagnose the condition. Also, the doctor will check the medical history of the patient so as to understand what kind of complications the person may be prone to. For this, the doctor will also find out if the patient is suffering from diseases like diabetes, malnutrition and other conditions arising out of tobacco abuse. Diagnosis of Pulmonary TB is by sputum for AFB examination and some blood test may also be required.
Medication: Usually, the best way to treat this condition is with the help of a six month long course of antibiotics that may also last 12 months, depending on the prognosis. The patient will be put in quarantine as well, so that he or she does not end up spreading this disease to anyone else. A voluntary medical practitioner or trained health worker will help in care giving and medicine administration under the instructions of the doctor. The medication will usually consist of four antimicrobial drugs or antibiotics, which will stop the release of nutrition and oxygen to the bacteria so that it cannot develop and grow. This will also ensure that the bacteria gets killed eventually.
Control of Infection: The spread of the infection is such that a single sneeze or cough can infect up to ten to fifteen people who are near the patient without proper masks and other gear to prevent the transmission. Therefore, it is the job of the hospital to ensure that proper infection control takes place by using ultraviolet light to sterilise the air around the area where the TB patients have been admitted.
One thing that the patient must remember about the treatment is that immediate and timely treatment with medication must be taken so that the patient is able to get cured. If the patient skips medicines or does not get treated on time, then the infection will come back again and again. And after a point, the patient's body and the bacteria will not be able to react to the medicines.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The Churg-Strauss disease is a rare medical condition, which causes abnormal and painful swelling of the blood vessels thereby obstructing normal blood flow to the different body organs and tissues. The Churg-Strauss disease generally attacks the blood vessels of the intestine, nose, heart, lungs and the sinuses. In rare cases, this abnormal swelling can damage the kidney and the body joints. If not diagnosed timely, Churg-Strauss disease might lead to further complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney damage.
- As of now, the accurate causes of the syndrome have not been detected; although doctors suspect that hereditary factors and a long-term exposure to allergens might be responsible for the syndrome.
- Also, the syndrome can be caused as a result of side effects of prescribed medications for asthma and allergies. However, many people who have been diagnosed with allergies do not show the symptoms of Churg-Strauss syndrome.
- The chances of suffering from this condition increase if you suffer from episodes of chronic asthma, sinusitis (inflammation of the nasal passage cavities) or any other form of allergy in the nose. This syndrome has been generally observed in people within the age group of 30-50 years.
The symptoms of Churg-Strauss syndrome vary among people depending on the affected organ. However, the possible symptoms of the disease are but not limited to:
- There might be a significant pain in the joints and abdomen along with fever, asthma, sinusitis, and a loss in body weight.
- Development of scars on the body along with the presence of blood in faecal matters coupled with a tingling sensation in the limbs along with a feeling of numbness if the syndrome happens to attack the nerves.
Treatment: Churg-Strauss disease is an incurable medical condition, but a prescribed dosage of corticosteroids or chemotherapy medications can regulate the symptoms.
A cough is probably one of the most common respiratory diseases that people suffer from. In most cases, it is nothing to worry about and can be cured with cough suppressants and salt water gargles. However, coughing of blood is a serious problem. The coughing up of blood that originates from below the level of the larynx is known as hemoptysis. This can vary in terms of severity depending on the amount of blood being expelled. This disease is a common condition, but on an average, less than 5% of hemoptysis cases are life threatening.
Hemoptysis rarely affects children. The symptoms of this condition include:
Sudden onset of a cough with bloody phlegm
Chest pain: Medical attention should be sought in cases where this condition recurs often, if it lasts for longer than a fortnight or if the volume of blood expectorated is more than 30ml per day. The various tools that help in the diagnosis of this condition are:
Chest radiography: This imaging modality helps lateralize bleeding and understand the amount of lung involvement. It is quick, inexpensive and can also help detect other underlying abnormalities.
Bronchoscopy: This involves the insertions of a rigid or flexible endoscope into the bronchial passages to check the airways and determine active bleeding sites.
MDCT: A multidetector CT is a non-invasive imaging tool that provides a comprehensive evaluation of airways, lung parenchyma, and thoracic vessels. It can also be used to uncover potential causes of bleeding such as bronchiectasis, pulmonary infections and lung cancer. In some cases, a multidetector CT angiography may also be used.
Oral antibiotics are usually the first stage of treatment for this condition. Smokers will also be urged to quit cigarettes as this can worsen their condition. Treatment for minor hemoptysis may also include:
- Oral hemostatics
- Cough suppressants
- Radiation of laser treatment
- Therapeutic bronchoscopy
In its later stages, hemoptysis can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure known as endovascular embolization or with surgery. In some cases, endovascular embolization may also be sued to stabilise the patient before surgery. This procedure reduces the pressure in the hypertrophic arterial blood vessels and decreases the risk of perioperative bleeding.
Hemoptysis is also one of the most common complaints of lung cancer patients. Depending on the stage of cancer and the amount of blood expectorated, treatment in some cases may not be possible. In such cases, a parenteral opioid and fast-acting benzodiazepine may be administered. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!