Lung diseases are some of the most common medical conditions in the world. Tens of millions of people suffer from lung disease in the U.S. Most Common Lung Problems: What You Should Know. It may irritate your lungs and airways and give you a cough, triggering asthma or infections like pneumonia or bronchitis. See your doctor if your symptoms worsen, you have a fever for 5 or more days, or you have a severe sore throat. People with lung disease have difficulty breathing. The term lung disease refers to many disorders affecting the lungs, such as asthma, COPD, infections like influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis, lung cancer, and many other breathing problems. Some lung diseases can lead to.
For example, antimicrobial medicines can treat a lung infection. Acid-blocking medicines can prevent acid reflux, which can lead to aspiration. A lung transplant may be an option for children who have severe chILD if other treatments haven't worked. Currently, lung transplants are the only effective treatment for some types of chILD that have a high risk of death, such as alveolar capillary dysplasia and certain surfactant dysfunction mutations.
Early diagnosis of these diseases gives children the chance to receive lung transplants. So far, chILD doesn't appear to come back in patients' transplanted lungs. For more information about this treatment, go to the Health Topics Lung Transplant article.
Caring for a child who has childhood interstitial lung disease chILD can be challenging. However, you can take steps to help your child manage his or her disease. Make sure your child gets ongoing care and seek support to help you, your child, and your other family members cope with the effects of chILD on daily life. Work with your child's health care team to manage your child's symptoms and keep him or her as healthy as possible.
This team may include doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers, physical therapists, and home health aides. Each of these specialists may have services that can help you and your child cope with his or her lung disease.
Many children who have chILD need oxygen therapy to help them breathe easier. Portable oxygen units can make it easier for your child to move around and do many daily activities. If your child's doctor prescribes oxygen therapy, work with a home equipment provider to make sure you have the supplies and equipment you need. Trained personnel will show you how to use the equipment correctly and safely.
Your child may need support to help other people in his or her life understand the special needs related to chILD. For example, you may want to talk with your child's teachers about your child's illness.
You can work with the teachers to decide how to meet your child's special school-related needs. You also may want to alert relatives, caregivers, friends, and parents of friends about your child's illness. Let them know about your child's usual care and any signs or symptoms that require emergency care.
Taking care of yourself also is important. Managing your child's disease and ongoing care can be stressful. You and your family members may feel sad, guilty, or overwhelmed. Social workers and mental health providers can help you cope with your feelings and provide support. They also can connect you with family support groups. Taking part in a support group can show you how other people have coped with chILD. Learn more about participating in a clinical trial.
View all trials from ClinicalTrials. Visit Children and Clinical Studies to hear experts, parents, and children talk about their experiences with clinical research.
Childhood Interstitial Lung Disease. Overview Researchers have only begun to study, define, and understand chILD in the last decade. Some ILDs only occur in children. Diseases more common in infancy include: Surfactant sur-FAK-tant dysfunction mutations Developmental disorders, such as alveolar capillary dysplasia Lung growth abnormalities Neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy NEHI Pulmonary interstitial glycogenosis PIG Diseases more common in children older than 2 years of age and teens include: Nonspecific interstitial pneumonia Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia Acute interstitial pneumonia Desquamative interstitial pneumonia Lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia Other primary disorders: Alveolar hemorrhage syndromes Aspiration syndromes Hypersensitivity pneumonitis Infectious or postinfectious disease bronchiolitis obliterans Eosinophilic pneumonia Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis Pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophilia Pulmonary lymphatic disorders lymphangiomatosis, lymphangiectasis Pulmonary vascular disorders haemangiomatosis ILD associated with systemic disease processes: Connective tissue diseases Histiocytosis Malignancy-related lung disease Sarcoidosis Storage diseases Disorders of the compromised immune system: Opportunistic infection Disorders related to therapeutic intervention Lung and bone marrow transplant-associated lung diseases Diffuse alveolar damage of unknown cause The various types of chILD can affect many parts of the lungs, including the alveoli air sacs , bronchial tubes airways , and capillaries.
Normal Lungs and Lung Structures. Chronic lung disease Diffuse infiltrative lung disease Diffuse lung disease Diffuse parenchyma lung disease Interstitial pneumonitis The chILD syndrome. Some conditions and factors that may cause or lead to chILD include: Inherited conditions, such as surfactant disorders. Surfactant is a liquid that coats the inside of the lungs. It helps with breathing and may help protect the lungs from bacterial and viral infections.
Birth defects that cause problems with the structure or function of the lungs. This term refers to inhaling substances—such as food, liquid, or vomit—into the lungs.
Inhaling these substances can injure the lungs. GERD occurs if acid from the stomach backs up into the throat. The immune system protects the body against bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Children who have immune system disorders aren't able to fight illness and disease as well as children who have healthy immune systems. Exposure to substances in the environment that can irritate the lungs, such as molds and chemicals. Some cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Systemic or autoimmune diseases, such as collagen vascular disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
Systemic diseases are diseases that involve many of the body's organs. Autoimmune diseases occur if the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's tissues and cells.
A bone marrow transplant or a lung transplant. These risk factors include: Having a family history of interstitial lung disease or chILD. Having an inherited surfactant disorder or a family history of this type of disorder. Having problems with aspiration.
This term "aspiration" refers to inhaling substances—such as food, liquid, or vomit—into the lungs. Having an immune system disorder. Being exposed to substances in the environment that can irritate the lungs, such as molds and chemicals. Having a systemic or autoimmune disease, such as collagen vascular disease or inflammatory bowel disease. Undergoing some cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Having a bone marrow transplant or a lung transplant.
Make hand washing a family habit to avoid germs and prevent illnesses. Try to keep your child away from people who are sick. Even a common cold can cause problems for someone who has chILD. Talk with your child's doctor about vaccines that your child needs, such as an annual flu shot. Make sure everyone in your household gets all of the vaccines that their doctors recommend.
Talk with your child's doctor about how to prevent your child from getting respiratory syncytial sin-SIT-e-al virus. This common virus leads to cold and flu symptoms for most people. However, it can make children who have lung diseases very sick. Avoid exposing your child to air pollution, tobacco smoke, and other substances that can irritate his or her lungs. Strongly advise your child not to smoke now or in the future. Signs, Symptoms, and Complications.
Signs and symptoms may include: Fast breathing, which also is called tachypnea tak-ip-NE-ah Labored breathing, which also is called respiratory distress Low oxygen levels in the blood, which also is called hypoxemia hi-POK-se-ah Recurrent coughing , wheezing, or crackling sounds in the chest Shortness of breath during exercise in older children or while eating in infants , which also is called dyspnea disp-NE-ah Poor growth or failure to gain weight Recurrent pneumonia or bronchiolitis If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, contact his or her doctor.
Often though, doctors find chILD hard to diagnose because: There are many types of the disease and a range of underlying causes The disease's signs and symptoms are the same as those for many other diseases The disease may coexist with other diseases Going to a pediatric pulmonologist who has experience with chILD is helpful. The doctor may ask whether your child: Has severe breathing problems that occur often.
Has had severe lung infections. Had serious lung problems as a newborn. Has been exposed to possible lung irritants in the environment, such as birds, molds, dusts, or chemicals. Has ever had radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
Has an autoimmune disease, certain birth defects, or other medical conditions. A chest x ray. This painless test creates pictures of the structures inside your child's chest, such as the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. A chest x ray can help rule out other lung diseases as the cause of your child's symptoms. An HRCT scan uses x rays to create detailed pictures of your child's lungs. This test can show the location, extent, and severity of lung disease. These tests measure how much air your child can breathe in and out, how fast he or she can breathe air out, and how well your child's lungs deliver oxygen to the blood.
Lung function tests can assess the severity of lung disease. Infants and young children may need to have these tests at a center that has special equipment for children. For this procedure, the doctor injects a small amount of saline salt water through a tube inserted in the child's lungs. The fluid helps bring up cells from the tissues around the air sacs. The doctor can then look at these cells under a microscope.
This procedure can help detect an infection, lung injury, bleeding, aspiration, or an airway problem. Various tests to rule out conditions such as asthma , cystic fibrosis , acid reflux, heart disease, neuromuscular disease, and immune deficiency. Various tests for systemic diseases linked to chILD.
Blood tests to check for inherited genetic diseases and disorders. After the biopsy, the doctor will look at these samples under a microscope. Supportive Therapy Supportive therapy refers to treatments that help relieve symptoms or improve quality of life. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that contribute to COPD. Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the air sacs alveoli of the lungs.
It's characterized by daily cough and mucus sputum production. Emphysema is a condition in which the alveoli at the end of the smallest air passages bronchioles of the lungs are destroyed as a result of damaging exposure to cigarette smoke and other irritating gases and particulate matter. With proper management, most people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and quality of life, as well as reduced risk of other associated conditions. COPD symptoms often don't appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues.
For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a daily cough and mucus sputum production at least three months a year for two consecutive years. Other signs and symptoms of COPD may include:. People with COPD are also likely to experience episodes called exacerbations, during which their symptoms become worse than usual day-to-day variation and persist for at least several days. The main cause of COPD in developed countries is tobacco smoking.
In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes. Only about 20 to 30 percent of chronic smokers may develop clinically apparent COPD , although many smokers with long smoking histories may develop reduced lung function. Some smokers develop less common lung conditions. They may be misdiagnosed as having COPD until a more thorough evaluation is performed.
Air travels down your windpipe trachea and into your lungs through two large tubes bronchi. Inside your lungs, these tubes divide many times — like the branches of a tree — into many smaller tubes bronchioles that end in clusters of tiny air sacs alveoli.
The air sacs have very thin walls full of tiny blood vessels capillaries. The oxygen in the air you inhale passes into these blood vessels and enters your bloodstream. At the same time, carbon dioxide — a gas that is a waste product of metabolism — is exhaled. Your lungs rely on the natural elasticity of the bronchial tubes and air sacs to force air out of your body.
COPD causes them to lose their elasticity and overexpand, which leaves some air trapped in your lungs when you exhale. Emphysema damages the inner walls of the lungs' air sacs alveoli , causing them to eventually rupture. This creates one larger air space instead of many small ones and reduces the surface area available for gas exchange.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. In the vast majority of cases, the lung damage that leads to COPD is caused by long-term cigarette smoking. But there are likely other factors at play in the development of COPD , such as a genetic susceptibility to the disease, because only about 20 to 30 percent of smokers may develop COPD.
Other irritants can cause COPD , including cigar smoke, secondhand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution and workplace exposure to dust, smoke or fumes. In about 1 percent of people with COPD , the disease results from a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alphaantitrypsin. Alphaantitrypsin AAt is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream to help protect the lungs.
Alphaantitrypsin deficiency can affect the liver as well as the lungs. Damage to the lung can occur in infants and children, not only adults with long smoking histories. In addition, some people can be treated by replacing the missing AAt protein, which may prevent further damage to the lungs.
COPD can cause many complications, including:. Unlike some diseases, COPD has a clear cause and a clear path of prevention. The majority of cases are directly related to cigarette smoking, and the best way to prevent COPD is to never smoke — or to stop smoking now.
If you're a longtime smoker, these simple statements may not seem so simple, especially if you've tried quitting — once, twice or many times before. But keep trying to quit. It's critical to find a tobacco cessation program that can help you quit for good.
It's your best chance for preventing damage to your lungs. Occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dust is another risk factor for COPD.
Lung disease is any problem in the lungs that prevents the lungs from working properly. There are three main types of lung disease. Lung disease doesn't play favourites. It affects men, women, children, smokers, non-smokers and individuals who have never smoked. If lung disease is taking. Lung disease refers to disorders that affect the lungs, the organs that allow us to breathe. Lung disease is a major concern for women.