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Respiration disorders

Cough is sudden and forceful expiration of air from the lungs caused by an involuntary contraction of the muscles controlling the process of breathing. Coughing can also be triggered by a bolus of food going down the trachea instead of the esophagus, due to a failure of the epiglottis, although this may result in choking instead. Coughing is usually a reflex response of the body caused by an irritation in the throat or windpipe.
Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is an uncomfortable feeling of not getting enough air. Many causes are harmless and easily corrected; however, shortness of breath can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Shortness of breath has many different causes. Obstruction of the air passages of the nose, mouth, or throat may lead to difficulty breathing.
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
Hemoptysis is the coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract. Coughing up blood from the lungs (hemoptysis) is sometimes confused with bleeding from the mouth, throat, or gastrointestinal tract. Hemoptysis often looks frothy because it is mixed with air and sputum (secretions from the airway). Massive hemoptysis is a life-threatening emergency that requires treatment in an intensive care unit.
Hyperventilation (rapid deep breathing)
Hyperventilation is the breathing response kicked off by an acute panic attack or anxiety attack. Hyperventilation causes the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood to drop too low. Hyperventilation: Overbreathing. This can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, shortness of breath, a sense of unsteadiness, muscle spasms in the hands and feet, and tingling around the mouth and fingertips.
Stridor is a high pitched, harsh, vibratory noise caused by partial airway obstruction, which results in turbulent airflow. Stridor is typically heard on inspiration, but can also be heard on expiration and may also be biphasic. Inspiratory stridor suggests an obstruction above the glottis, due to collapse of soft tissues with negative pressure created during inspiration.
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound produced by air flowing through narrowed breathing tubes, especially the smaller ones deep in the lung. It is a common finding in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Wheezing is a whistling noise of varying pitch and loudness that occurs when the small airways (bronchioli) become narrower because of inflammation or a buildup of mucus and dead cells in the airway.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious, wasting disease caused by any of several mycobacteria. The most common form of the disease is tuberculosis of the lungs (pulmonary consumption, or phthisis), but the intestines, bones and joints, the skin, and the genitourinary, lymphatic, and nervous systems may also be affected. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the microorganism Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Topics in respiratory and lung diseases

Lung diseases
Occupational lung diseases
Respiratory infections
Respiration disorders
Broncheal diseases
Pleural diseases
Lung transplant

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005