Pulmonary Disease
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Pulmonary Disease

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder that involves a hyper-responsiveness of the airways with varying amount of airway obstruction. This disorder is triggered by stimuli such as stress, allergens and pollutants.

Chronic pulmonary disease and restrictive pulmonary disease are the two major categories of lower respiratory tract disorders. This is caused by air way obstructions with an increased resistance of air flows to lung tissues. Four major pulmonary disorders caused pulmonary diseases: chronic bronchitis, bronchiectais, emphysema and asthma. Chronic bronchitis, bronchiectais and emphysema frequently result in irreversible lung tissue damage. The lung tissue changes resulting from an acute asthmatic attack are normally reversible; however, if the asthma attacks are frequent and asthma becomes chronic, irreversible changes in the lung tissue may result. Clients with this disease usually have a decrease of forced expiratory volume in one second.

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder that involves a hyper-responsiveness of the airways with varying amount of airway obstruction. This disorder is triggered by stimuli such as stress, allergens and pollutants.

Bronchial asthma is characterized by bronchospasm (constricted bronchioles), wheezing, mucus secretions and dyspnea. There is resistance to airflow caused by obstruction of the airway. In acute and chronic asthma, minimal to no changes are seen in the structure and function of lung tissues when the disease process is in remission. In chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and emphysema, there is permanent, irreversible damage to the physical structure of the lung tissue. Symptoms are similar in these three pulmonary disorders to those of asthma, except wheezing does not occur.

Chronic bronchitis is a progressive lung disease due to smoking or infections in lungs. Excessive mucous and bronchial inflammation results in the obstruction of airways. Productive coughing is a response to excess mucus production and chronic bronchial irritation. Expiratory and inspiratory rhonchi may be heard on auscultation. Hypercapnia (increase in carbon dioxide retention) and hypoxemia (oxygen in blood decreases) resulting to respiratory acidosis.

In bronchiectasis, there is abnormal dilation of the bronchioles and bronchi next to frequent inflammation and infection. The bronchioles become obstructed by the breakdown of the epithelium of the bronchial mucosa. This may result to tissue fibrosis.

Emphysema is a progressive disease in lungs brought about by atmospheric contaminants, cigarette smoking, or lack of antitrypsin protein that inhibits proteolytic enzymes that destroy alveoli or air sacs. The proteolytic enzymes are released in the lung by bacteria or phagocytic cells. The terminal bronchioles become plugged with mucus, causing a loss in the fiber and elastin network in the alveoli. The alveoli enlarge as many of the alveolar walls are damaged. Air becomes cornered in the expanded alveoli, which leads to inadequate gas (oxygen and carbon dioxide) exchange.

 

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