ABSTRACT – There are two parts of anatomy of the respiratory system, lung anatomy and airway anatomy. The airway...
Pulmonology medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the lungs and respiratory tract. Here are some of the most common conditions that our Pulmonology diagnose and treat:
Asthma. A chronic condition characterized by periodic wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Asthma attacks occur when inflammation of the airways causes them to narrow, restricting airflow in and out of the lungs. The attacks can last minutes or days, and can be dangerous if the airflow becomes severely restricted.
Bronchiectasis. A condition that results from the damage and dilation (widening) of the large bronchial airways. The bronchial tubes become distended, forming small pockets where infection develops. A person may be born with bronchiectasis or may acquire it later in life, usually as a result of inhaling a foreign object or due to recurrent lung infections. About half of all cases in the United States today are caused by cystic fibrosis.
Bronchitis. Inflammation of the airways, usually caused by infection. It may be short-lived (acute) or chronic. Symptoms include a cough that produces mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, fatigue, and mild fever. Acute bronchitis often follows a viral respiratory infection, such as a cold or flu. A secondary bacterial infection is also common.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a group of lung diseases involving airway inflammation, lung tissue damage, and limited airflow. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the most common forms of COPD. In COPD, the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs are partly obstructed, making it difficult to breathe. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD, although long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as dust, chemicals, and pollution, may also cause or contribute to COPD.
- Chronic bronchitis. A form of COPD. Chronic bronchitis may be diagnosed when the patient has had a cough with excessive mucus during most days of the month for at least 3 months.
- Emphysema. A form of COPD. Emphysema involves damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. The air sacs lose elasticity and are unable to completely deflate, which prevents them from filling with fresh air to adequately supply oxygen to the body.