There are a number of diseases that threaten the heart and lungs; however those that directly threaten both are considered to be pulmonary diseases. Because these two vital organs work together so closely, a disruption in their systems can cause a depletion of oxygen throughout the rest of the body, which can lead to a number of other issues. Below are some of the most common pulmonary diseases, paired with a short description of each:
Asthma occurs when the airways tighten up and keep the lungs from getting all the oxygen they can with every breath. The causes of asthma are plentiful, including but not limited to: allergies, pollution, a disorder in the nervous system, genetics and more. It is usually characterized by wheezing, which is a whistling noise that happens when an asthma patient breathes.
Mesothelioma is a condition that is directly linked to asbestos exposure, which has been a hot topic of class action lawsuits over the past few decades because of the many former railroad, shipyard and construction workers that have contracted it due to their jobs. Mesothelioma is characterized by numerous growths and tumors in the lungs.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an issue caused by a number of sources that can block the airways and make it especially difficult to breathe. COPD is a common disease that affects millions of Americans every year, most of which are elderly people who have had past issues with bronchitis, which is a blocking of the bronchial tubes that would normally allow easy air flow into the body.
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