Lung diseases are some of the most common diseases suffered by human beings throughout the world. Smoking and infections are responsible for most lung diseases. The lungs perform one of the most important functions of the body. It is also one of the most active organs in the human body and hence lung problems can arise due to problems in any other part of the body. Some of the most common and infectious lung diseases are discussed below.
Asthma is a common long term disease which is characterized by reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. The symptoms of asthma include coughing, shortness of breath and tightness of chest. These symptoms may occur frequently during a day and depend on the person, it may become worse during the night or during a certain exercise.
Pneumonia is another common lung problem which is suffered due to inflammation in the microscopic air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli. Symptoms of pneumonia include dry cough, chest pain, breathing problem and fever. Pneumonia is caused most commonly by viruses or bacteria. It is also caused by certain medications and conditions which are popularly known as autoimmune diseases. There are a number of vaccines available to prevent certain types of pneumonia. Other methods include hand washing and refraining from smoking.
Tuberculosis is a very infectious disease which is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it has been known to affect other parts of the body as well. Symptoms of tuberculosis include cough containing sputum with blood, night sweats, fever and weight loss. Air is an active medium for spreading tuberculosis. This happens when people who already have tuberculosis sneeze, cough or speak. Infection occurs more in those who have HIV/AIDS or those who smoke. Prevention of tuberculosis includes staying away and keeping those who are at high risk, early detection and treatment and vaccination.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects the lungs. It affects the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, swollen abdomen, cough, chest pain, weight loss and general lethargy. Mesothelioma is caused mainly due to exposure to asbestos. Those people who mine asbestos, produce products from asbestos, work with asbestos products are at high risk. Mesothelioma also results from genetical problems and due to infection caused by the simian virus 40.
5. Pulmonary Embolism
This is a disease caused due to blockage of an artery in the lungs by a substance which has travelled from another part of the body by the bloodstream. Symptoms of this disease include chest pain, breath shortness and coughing up of blood. There may also be signs of a blood clot in the legs.