Chronic lung diseases occur when your airways, lung tissues, or circulation of blood in and out of your lungs are affected by a disease process. They usually develop slowly, and may get worse over time. Chronic lung disease may be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, dust, or other forms of air pollution.
Signs and symptoms of chronic lung disease:
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath which can occur at rest or with exertion
- Chest pain or tightness, especially when taking a deep breath
- Coughing up thick mucus or blood
- The feeling of not being able to get enough air
- Rapid heart rate
- Edema (swelling) in your ankles
- Weight loss
- Night Sweats
- Clubbing of the nails
Chronic lung conditions treated by our physicians:
- COPD which includes Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema
- Lung infections or Pneumonia. This can be due to various bacteria, viruses, fungus or parasite infections
- Blood clots or Pulmonary Embolism/DVT
- Pulmonary Hypertension, or high blood pressure in the blood vessels around the lungs
- Interstitial Lung Diseases including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Occupational Lung Diseases and Sarcoidosis
- Lung Cancer
- Pleural Effusion or fluid buildup around the lungs
- Neuromuscular Diseases leading to chronic dependence on mechanical ventilation
- Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
To increase your odds of avoiding chronic lung disease, consider these tips:
- Don’t smoke or quit smoking. Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Try to reduce your exposure to pollutants in the environment, at work, and in your home.
- Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate is best.
- Eat a nutritious diet.
- Get regular checkups with your doctor.
- Be sure to get a flu shot every year, and after you turn 65, get a pneumonia shot.
- If you’re at risk for lung cancer, ask your doctor about screening options.
- Test your home for radon gas.
- Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and stay away from individuals who are sick.