Chronic lower respiratory disease is a group of diseases that have something to do with your lungs such as Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease, Emphysema,and Chronic Bronchitis. It is one of the deadliest disease in the United States, even the Third deadliest in the United States. What is Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease? Read on to find out more.
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease and Its Causes
Some factors trigger this disease, but mostly – about 80 percent of cases to be exact –, it happens due to tobacco smoking. The smoke produced by tobacco smoking can exacerbate this illness and even damage your lungs rapidly. Not only can smokers be affected by the tobacco smoke, but also non-smokers who involuntarily inhale the smoke.
Insufficient ventilations at home can also trigger this illness as the fumes produced by the burning fuel for cooking are trapped and cannot be emitted. Prolonged exposure to the pollutants found in your workplace can also trigger chronic lower respiratory disease.
The Signs and Symptoms
Just like any other diseases, when you are at the early stages of chronic lower respiratory disease, your body will show some symptoms. It is imperative that you recognize the symptoms early so that appropriate treatment can be sought immediately.
- Shortness of Breath
Prolonged exposure to the pollutants has damaged your lungs, thus you will find it difficult to breath normally just like what you used to do. The breath feels shorter in that making the air travel in and out of the lungs entails more effort. This condition is also known as dyspnea”or breathlessness.
In addition to having difficulty in inhaling some air, you will also have the feeling of heaviness in your chest so that you keep trying to gasp for air.
Has your wife ever told you about the high-pitched sound produced when you are exhaling the air during your sleep? It is called wheezing. In many cases, this sound is only produced when exhaling, but in some cases, it also occurs when inhaling the air.
Wheezing happens because of narrowed airways or inflammation, making you produce this irritating high-pitched sound.
You will feel exhausted easily because your muscle strength is getting weaker as a result of long-term inability of exercise.
- A Nagging and Prolonged Cough
This cough is different from the one that accompanies cold which usually goes away in a few days. If your cough has been lasting for weeks or even months although you have taken medicine, you do need to see a doctor since it can be a sign of something serious.
This unusual cough is usually accompanied by clear, yellow, white, or greenish mucus.
Cyanosis is bluish discolorations happening in your finger, lips, and tongue. This phenomenon occurs when red blood cells lack oxygen levels. Cyanosis usually occurs with some other symptoms such as shortness of breath.
- Respiratory Infections Happening Frequently
The infections can be both upper and lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
More than 50 percent people with chronic lower respiratory disease experience insomnia because of treatment medications for this illness, some other symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing, low oxygen levels when sleeping, depression, anxiety, sleeping position, sleep apnea, and acid reflux.
- Weight Loss
People with this illness have to go the extra mile to breathe since inflammation happens in the lungs. The inflammation can be more severe and make your lungs larger resulting in the reduced space between your lungs and your stomach.
Having a very limited space between the lungs and stomach, you will find having meal is extremely uncomfortable as those two organs push each other, making you lose your appetite and, eventually, lose weight.
Chronic lower respiratory disease is the third deadliest illness in the United States that has killed a number of people. Therefore, it will be better if you prevent it from happening.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking is the main factor of this illness. Active smokers are prone to this illness due to various harmful substances found in tobacco. If you experience some of those symptoms, please stop smoking immediately.
- Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Even if you do not smoke, you still have the chance of suffering from this illness due to secondhand smoke. Data gained from World Health Organization (WHO) stated that 10 percent deaths related to smoking was caused by secondhand smoke.
- Avoid Air Pollution
Some people suffer from chronic lower respiratory disease because of air pollution caused by smoke and dust coming from unventilated wood stoves. Therefore, making sufficient ventilations especially in the kitchen can help you prevent this illness.
- Wearing Masks When Working
Do not forget to wear masks when working especially if you deal with coal dust, concrete dust, and chemical fumes.
Those are the symptoms and prevention tips of chronic lower respiratory disease. Recognizing the symptoms earlier can help you get a better treatment. But the most important thing is preventing it from getting worse by not smoking.