Lung disease

  • Definition

    Lung disease is any disease or disorder that occurs in the lungs or that causes the lungs to not work properly. There are three main types of lung disease:

    1. Airway diseases -- These diseases affect the tubes (airways) that carry oxygen and other gases into and out of the lungs. These diseases usually cause a narrowing or blockage of the airways. They include asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. People with airway diseases sometimes describe the feeling as "trying to breathe out through a straw."
    2. Lung tissue diseases -- These diseases affect the structure of the lung tissue. Scarring or inflammation of the tissue makes the lungs unable to expand fully ("restrictive lung disease"). Theis makes it hard for the lungs to breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis are examples of lung tissue diseases. People sometimes describe the feeling as "wearing a too-tight sweater or vest" that won't allow them to take a deep breath.
    3. Lung circulation diseases -- These diseases affect the blood vessels in the lungs. They are caused by clotting, scarring, or inflammation of the blood vessels. They affect the ability of the lungs to take up oxygen and to release carbon dioxide. These diseases may also affect heart function.

    Many lung diseases involve a combination of these three types.

    The most common lung diseases include:

    • Asthma
    • Atelectasis
    • Bronchitis
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Emphysema
    • Lung cancer
    • Pneumonia
    • Pulmonary edema

    Other lung diseases include:

    • Asbestosis
    • Aspergilloma
    • Aspergillosis
    • Aspergillosis - acute invasive
    • Bronchiectasis
    • Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP)
    • Eosinophilic pneumonia
    • Metastatic lung cancer
    • Necrotizing pneumonia
    • Pleural effusion
    • Pneumoconiosis
    • Pneumonia in immunodeficient patient
    • Pneumothorax
    • Pulmonary actinomycosis
    • Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
    • Pulmonary anthrax
    • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation
    • Pulmonary fibrosis
    • Pulmonary embolus
    • Pulmonary histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma)
    • Pulmonary hypertension
    • Pulmonary nocardiosis
    • Pulmonary tuberculosis
    • Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease
    • Rheumatoid lung disease
    • Sarcoidosis

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors