Lung Diseases


A network of organs and tissues constitutes the respiratory system. Lungs are the part of the respiratory system that helps us to breathe. Lung diseases refer to the disorders of the lungs that restrict them to function properly. Lung diseases affect the respiratory and pulmonary functions of the lungs. Lung diseases are caused by bacteria, and viruses, as well as they, are associated with environmental factors. In this tutorial, we will learn about lung diseases in depth.

Types of Lung Diseases

Lung diseases refer to any problem that leads to malfunctioning of the lungs. The types of lung diseases are described below −

Airway diseases

The tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs are affected by these diseases. Airway diseases are responsible for narrowing or blockage in the airways. Some of the airway diseases are described below −

  • Asthma −The airways are continuously inflamed followed by wheezing and shortness of breath. The asthmatic symptoms can be triggered in case of allergies, infection, and pollution.

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease − The affected individual is not able to exhale properly which results in trouble breathing.

  • Chronic bronchitis − This is one form of COPD followed by a long wet cough.

  • Acute bronchitis − Acute bronchitis is caused by a virus. This viral infection can affect bronchi all of a sudden.

  • Emphysema −It is also a form of COPD. This malfunction allows the air to confine in the lungs as a result the effective individual faces trouble blowing the air out.

  • Cystic fibrosis − In this, the effective individual will not be able to clean up the mucus from the bronchi and this leads to repetitive infections of the lungs.

Alveoli diseases

The air sacs or alveoli contribute to many lung diseases. That include −

  • Pneumonia − In this disease, the alveoli get infected by viruses and bacteria. COVID-19 causes pneumonia.

  • Tuberculosis − It is a respiratory disease by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

  • Emphysema − Due to emphysema brittle bonding between the air sacs gets spoiled. Smoking is the main reason behind this disease.

  • Pulmonary edema − In this the leakage of fluids from blood vessels of the lungs into the air sacs that are present around them occurs.

  • Lung cancer − It can affect any part of the lungs and have various forms. Most often it occurs surrounding the areas of alveoli.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) &mnus; It is a serious injury to the lungs occur due to some respiratory diseases. Example: COVID-19.

  • Pneumoconiosis − This occurs due to inhalation of something that is injurious to the lungs. Black lung disease and asbestosis are common examples of pneumoconiosis.

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Interstitium Diseases

The diseases of the lungs that affect interstitium are interstitial lung diseases. Sarcoidosis, idiopathic fibrosis, and autoimmune disease are included in this type of disease.

Lung Circulation Diseases

The blood vessels that are present in the lungs are affected by these diseases. The blood vessels are either clotted or inflamed in this condition. These lung circulation diseases also affect the function of the heart. That includes −

  • Pulmonary hypertension: It causes high blood pressure in pulmonary arteries and leads to chest pain and breathlessness.

  • Pulmonary embolism: Blood clots stuck in the arteries of the lungs.

Pleura lung diseases

Pleura is a thin lining that encircles the lungs and lines the interior chest walls. Lung diseases of pleura are listed below −

  • Pleural effusion − Between the chest wall and lung space fluid is deposited. This condition is due to pneumonia or heart failure.

  • Pneumothorax − In this air make an entry space between the lungs and chest wall.

  • Mesothelioma − Mesothelioma is one type of cancer.

Causes of Lung Diseases

The causes of lung diseases are as follows −

  • Smoking is one of the primary reasons for lung diseases. Passive smoking is also not good for the lungs.

  • The radon i.e., colourless and odourless gas present in our surroundings contributes to lung diseases.

  • Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber that has industrial uses. Exposure to asbestos causes various lung diseases including lung cancer.

  • Long-term exposure to toxic chemicals and air pollutants also causes lung diseases.

  • Bacterial or viral infections are also responsible for lung diseases.

For Example − Tuberculosis and COVID-19.

Symptoms of Lung Diseases

The symptoms of lung disease are as follows −

  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath

  • Pain in the chest

  • Exhaustion

  • Swollen ankle, feet, and legs

  • Wheezing

  • Mucus may produce due to chronic cough

  • Cough is accompanied by blood

  • Respiratory infections appear very frequently

  • Weight loss

  • Tiredness

Treatment of Lung Diseases

The treatment of lung diseases is as follows −

  • Doctor prescribes bronchodilator inhalers that help to open the airways. Sometimes depending on the severity of the disease combination inhalers are given to the patients.

  • Antibiotics are given in case of bacterial infection.

  • Flu or pneumonia vaccination is given to lower the risk of respiratory illnesses that include COVID 19.

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation makes individuals healthy and active.

  • Oxygen therapy is also given to reduce shortness of breath and for protecting the organs.

  • Lung volume reduction surgery is also used in the treatment of lung diseases.

  • Lung transplantation is the only option if the lungs are not able to function properly.


Lungs are the part of the respiratory system that helps us to breathe. Lung diseases refer to the disorders of the lungs that restrict them to function properly. Lung diseases are caused by smoking, radon gas, exposure to asbestos, air pollutants as well as bacteria, and viral infections.


Q1. What do you understand by interstitium?

Ans. The interstitium is a thin and fragile lining between alveoli. It supports the lung's alveoli. Generally, in CT scans or X-ray, the interstitium is not visible as it so thin in nature.

Q2. What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?

Ans. It is a respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The individuals who suffer from this will have chest pain, fever, chills, tiredness weight loss, night sweat, and chronic cough and sometimes cough with blood or mucus.

Q3.What is mesothelioma?

Ans. Mesothelioma is a rare form of deadly cancer. It mainly occurs in the thin layers of tissues that envelop the internal organs like the chest or abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of this type of cancer. The symptoms include shortness of breath, painful coughing, pain in the chest, weight loss, and an unusual lump under the skin of the chest.

Q4. What do you understand by black lung disease?

Ans. The black lung disease is also known as coal worker pneumoconiosis. This occurs when coal dust is inhaled. Continuous exposure to coal dust for a longer period of time effect lungs and causes breathing problems. It is an occupational disease and common among coal workers.

Q5. What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Ans. The pulmonary rehabilitation program includes exercise, management of diseases, and counselling. So, that affected individuals can lead a healthy and active life as much as possible.

Updated on: 29-Dec-2022


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