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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Lung

  1. COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss

    Key pointsSome people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-especially those with emphysema-may be underweight and malnourished. People with COPD often lose weight. When you lose weight, you lose muscle mass, including the muscles that help you breathe. This may make breathing more difficult. About 1 in 4 people with COPD weighs too little for good health, and those who are ...

  2. Solitary Pulmonary Nodule

    A solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) is a single abnormality in the lung that could be harmless or could be an early sign of cancer. Find out more from WebMD about causes, diagnosis, and treatment of SPN.

  3. Viral Pneumonia

    Pneumonia can have several causes, including a variety of viruses. Learn more about viral pneumonia.

  4. Chemical Pneumonia

    Chemical pneumonia is an unusual type of lung irritation caused by poisons or toxins. Find out more.

  5. Coronavirus

    A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous.

  6. Nebulizer for COPD Treatment - Topic Overview

    What is a nebulizer?A nebulizer is a tool that delivers liquid medicine as a fine mist. You breathe in the medicine through a mouthpiece or face mask. This sends the medicine directly to your airways and lungs. Depending on your needs, you can get a small, portable nebulizer or one that sits on a table or counter. A portable unit can run on rechargeable batteries or plug into a car or wall electrical outlet. A tabletop unit plugs into a wall outlet. All nebulizers have parts that need to be washed and air-dried each time you use them. What is it used for?A nebulizer may be used to treat breathing problems. These include asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). A nebulizer can make inhaling medicines easier. It can be very helpful if it is hard for you to breathe or to use an inhaler. How do you use a nebulizer?Follow the directions for use and cleaning that come with your nebulizer. For a tabletop unit:Make sure that the air compressor is steady and will not tip, and

  7. How Cystic Fibrosis Affects Breathing and the Lungs - Topic Overview

    Normal lung and respiratory functionThe breathing tubes, or bronchi, leading to the air sacs (alveoli) are lined with cells that produce mucus. Normally, the cells produce a thin, runny mucus that coats the surface of the lungs.Foreign particles, such as dust and germs, constantly enter the lungs and become trapped in the mucus. Tiny hairs called cilia on the surface of the breathing tubes sweep the mucus and foreign particles upward into the larger air passages and then up to the throat where they can be swallowed or coughed up.Effects of cystic fibrosis on lung and respiratory functionCystic fibrosis causes the mucus that coats the breathing tubes to become so thick and sticky that the cilia are unable to sweep the germs and other particles up and out of the lungs. The trapped bacteria lead to frequent, serious infections and permanent lung damage.In response to infections, the body's immune system sends white blood cells to the lungs to attempt to destroy the infection. White blood

  8. How Cystic Fibrosis Affects the Reproductive System - Topic Overview

    In men, cystic fibrosis may affect the development of the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm. The tube can also become blocked with mucus. Sperm are still made, but they are not released during ejaculation. This results in an inability to father children (infertility).Although cystic fibrosis does not affect the development of the reproductive organs in women, thick mucus makes fertilization of the egg difficult. But most women who have this disease can become pregnant. Before a woman who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis becomes pregnant, she should discuss with her doctor the risks, what to expect, and other issues. Many women who have cystic fibrosis have successful pregnancies, but they need close monitoring because of their nutritional status and the extra strain on their lungs.If you have cystic fibrosis and are thinking about getting pregnant, be sure to talk openly with your doctor about it. You may also want to consider genetic testing for you and your

  9. How Cystic Fibrosis Affects the Sweat Glands - Topic Overview

    Cystic fibrosis can lower the normal salt levels in the body, which can lead to a variety of short- and long-term problems.Sweat glands cool the body by releasing perspiration (sweat) from the lower layers of the skin onto the surface. Sodium and chloride (salt) help carry water to the skin's surface and are then reabsorbed into the body. As the water evaporates, heat is carried away, and the body cools.In people who have cystic fibrosis, the salt travels to the skin's surface with the water and is not reabsorbed. Because of this, the skin of a child who has cystic fibrosis is abnormally salty. Parents may notice salty-tasting skin when they kiss the child. People who have cystic fibrosis can become quickly depleted of salts, especially when the weather is hot, when they exercise strenuously, or when they have a fever. Low salt levels in the body lead to fatigue, weakness, fever, muscle cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, dehydration, and heatstroke. To avoid these conditions, people who

  10. Bronchiectasis - Topic Overview

    What is bronchiectasis?Bronchiectasis (say brawn-kee-ECK-tuh-sus) is a lung problem in which the breathing tubes (airways) in the lungs are stretched and become larger. It starts when your airways are damaged. The damage may be caused by another health problem—usually cystic fibrosis—or a lung infection such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. Other causes include whooping cough and autoimmune problems, such as AIDS. Bronchiectasis can also be congenital, which means you were born with it.The damaged airways have a hard time getting rid of mucus (sputum), so the mucus builds up. This causes the airways to stretch and can lead to swelling and repeated infections. Each time you get an infection, your airways are further damaged. It may become harder and harder to breathe.Even though there’s no cure for the disease, there are things you can do at home to manage your symptoms and live a full life.What are the symptoms?Symptoms are different for everyone. But common symptoms include: A

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