It’s no secret that most, if not all, parts of our body are volatile. However, some are more prone to catching diseases than others, such as the lungs. Lung disease is a general term for any disorder related to the lungs, such as airway and circulation complications.
Many people with this illness do not even realize they have it because there are no symptoms in the early stages. It’s often undetected until lung disease causes severe shortness of breath and chest pain. The lungs are very susceptible to specific environmental conditions and are constantly surrounded by dangerous pollutants such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, dust, and air-carried particulate matter. Therefore, if your work environment is not clean and healthy, you will likely develop lung diseases.
This article will discuss the most common causes of lung diseases and their kinds. Read on below to get started.
Causes of Lung Disease
Lung diseases can result from a variety of factors, including the following:
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Exposure to toxic fumes, vapors, and gases
- Exposure to infectious agents
- Inhaling air pollutants
- Long-term smoke exposure
If you work extensively in an environment where you have been exposed to any of the above, you may be at risk of developing lung disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Lung Disease
You’re likely to have lung disease if you experience any of the following:
- Back pain
- Chest tightness or pain
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive wheezing
- Feeling tightness or pressure in the chest
- Mental confusion
- Rapid heart rate
- Slurred speech
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
The Most Common Lung Diseases
Some of the most common lung diseases are:
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Among the various lung diseases, this is the most common in most people and is characterized by wheezing and coughing.
This is one of the more severe lung diseases after prolonged exposure to asbestos. It is a buildup of fibrous material in the lungs.
Bronchitis is a bacterial infection that causes a cough and a fever. Symptoms generally improve with rest, but if you run a fever for more than a week, you should see a doctor.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
More commonly known as COPD, it thickens and damages the airways by producing more mucus and clogging up the airways. COPD is a chronic disease that can’t be cured but can be managed.
Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, especially with exercise or when you laugh or cry, coughing that produces mucus or phlegm, wheezing or whistling sounds when you breathe, and chest tightness.
This chronic lung disease leads to a progressive loss of function in the breathing muscles. This condition is also evident in smokers.
This is a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of silica dust particles. It makes breathing difficult as the particles may clog the airways.
A form of cancer that generally develops in the cells of the lungs. It usually begins in the lining of the lungs, called the epithelial cells.
Lung cancer symptoms are not limited to those mentioned above, and they can present in various ways. The symptoms are often similar to other respiratory conditions in the early stages. Around 25 percent of lung cancers are not discovered early, and these cancers often spread rapidly. By the time of diagnosis, cancer has often spread to other regions of the body.
Treatment and Management
If you find yourself having any symptoms of lung disease, you should immediately seek medical assistance. You can also take the following preventive measures:
- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose.
- Quit smoking immediately.
- If you are concerned about the air quality at your workplace, you should bring it up with your manager.
- If you’re an outdoor worker, you should try to avoid going out during peak hours and only spend a short time outside to prevent exposure to smoke, chemicals, and pollutants.
Lung diseases are common among many people. It is essential to recognize their early symptoms to give timely medical intervention. If you’re often exposed to airborne contaminants at your workplace, you should take all necessary precautions.
A primary doctor can help you with your needs related to lung diseases. Garden State Medical Group has experienced primary care doctors that can help you in various aspects, such as disease treatment, management, and prevention. Contact us today for a consultation!