We rarely think about our lungs and the job that they do until they’re no longer able to keep up with the work. But our lungs are truly incredible organs. After all, the human body cannot survive without a functioning respiratory system.
We may take our lungs for granted, but let it be known that the 37-million Americans currently suffering from lung disease do not. Lifestyle choices, genetics, and exposure to harmful aerosols may be difficult to avoid, but understanding the most common types of lung disease and their causes may make you second guess that next cigarette. So, with your pulmonary health in mind, we’re going to first take a look at the three classifications of lung diseases, and then break down the most common types and their causes.
Lung diseases can be broken up into three distinct classifications. The first type is often referred to as airway diseases which are used to describe lung disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen into and out of your lungs. Major airways include the trachea, and the left and right bronchi, though each lung consists of more, smaller airways as well.
Airway diseases can present themselves in a variety of different ways, though they usually cause a blockage or narrowing of the impacted airway. This often causes a sensation similar to breathing out of a straw. Some examples of airway diseases include asthma, COPD, emphysema, and bronchitis, but we’ll dive into the specifics of those a little later.