Understanding the Impact of Lung Disease on Everyday Life

During a day, the average person takes nearly 25,000 breaths. Lung disease can make breathing difficult.

Airway diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, affect the tubes that carry oxygen into and out of your lungs. These diseases narrow or block these tubes. They can also produce lots of mucus, making it hard to breathe.


The lungs take in oxygen from the air, transfer it to the bloodstream, and get rid of carbon dioxide. They also protect the body from harmful germs. Lung diseases can cause breathing problems, making it hard to do everyday activities. They can affect smokers, ex-smokers, and never-smokers.

As per Lungs Hospital most common Symptoms may include a chronic cough or shortness of breath. If you have a cough that lasts more than eight weeks, or if your breath becomes labored even when you are resting, see a doctor. Other lung disease symptoms include wheezing, a feeling that the lungs can’t expand enough to breathe, or a feeling of tightness in the chest.

Some diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, can make breathing difficult. These diseases are known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Emphysema destroys the air sacs in the lungs, and chronic bronchitis irritates the lining of the lungs’ smallest air passages and causes them to swell and produce mucus.

Other lung diseases that can lead to breathing difficulty include pleural effusion, a fluid buildup in the space between your lungs and chest wall; and pulmonary hypertension, a condition in which high blood pressure builds up in the arteries of the lungs. Other conditions that can cause respiratory distress syndrome include pneumonia, viral infection or bacterial or parasitic infections and mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, usually decades ago.


A lung disease diagnosis can be scary, but there are a number of treatment options available to help people live more comfortably. The Froedtert & MCW health network’s team of advanced lung disease experts can diagnose your condition and create a lung disease treatment plan that improves symptoms and helps you return to living on your own terms.

If you have obstructive lung disease, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema, medications like inhaled steroids or long-acting bronchodilators can open your air passages and make breathing easier. You may also need oxygen therapy, which supplies your body with extra oxygen when you inhale. You can get supplemental oxygen through a nasal cannula or mask, which you can use at home.

In restrictive lung diseases, such as emphysema and severe bronchitis, medication can reduce inflammation and mucus buildup. You can also try to cut down on your smoking and secondhand smoke intake, conserve your energy by eating well and getting plenty of sleep, and participate in pulmonary rehabilitation.

A pulmonary rehab program can teach you safe and effective exercises, breathing techniques, proper nutrition, and how to manage the emotional aspects of your illness. You may also benefit from support groups for your particular lung disease. You should also stay up to date on your vaccinations, including a flu shot and pneumonia vaccine.

Preventing further damage

The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs in the chest. They bring oxygen into the body as you breathe in and release carbon dioxide, a waste product of the cells, as you exhale. Tiny air sacs called alveoli and small tubes called bronchi make up the inside of the lungs. People with lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis may have trouble breathing because these conditions damage the alveoli and bronchi.

People who smoke are at a higher risk of lung disease. Even though the lungs are made of strong, resilient tissues, smoking can cause them to lose their ability to expand and contract. Over time, this can lead to the development of COPD.

There are ways to prevent further lung damage from occurring. The most important thing is to stop smoking, even if you’ve already developed COPD. Quitting will reduce your risk of developing other lung problems and improve your overall health.

Other ways to lower your risk of lung disease include exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding exposure to chemicals such as asbestos. You should also wear masks when performing certain household or workplace tasks that involve dust or fumes. Finally, people who are at a high risk of developing lung disease should be immunized against influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia.

Living with lung disease

Symptoms of lung disease can make daily life more challenging. People may feel depressed or anxious. It’s important to have support from family and friends. A counselor or psychologist may be able to help with these issues. You can also check if there are any local support groups for people living with long-term lung conditions.

If you have COPD, it’s important to stick with your treatment plan and tell your doctor if you have any problems. This will help slow disease progression and ease symptoms. It’s also important to stay active and eat a healthy diet. Smoking is a major risk factor for COPD, but other factors like long-term exposure to fumes and air pollution can play a role too.

Some people with COPD have flare-ups, where their symptoms get worse for a few days or weeks. This happens because the lungs aren’t able to absorb oxygen as well. You can avoid having flare-ups by taking bronchodilators and other medications, sticking to your treatment plan, and getting yearly flu and pneumococcal vaccines.

People with COPD are more likely to have heart disease and lung cancer, so it’s important to take care of your health. There are some things you can do to lower your chance of these problems, like exercising, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking.


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