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Types of Chronic Lung Disease

Last updated 3 years ago

Chronic lung disease strikes patients of all ages and can be seriously detrimental to quality of life. The first step to controlling lung disease is understanding what type you have. By understanding your disease, you can work with your pulmonary specialist to control your symptoms and reduce the need for emergency care. Here’s a look at the three main categories of chronic lung disease.

Airway Diseases

Your airways are the tubes that allow oxygen and gasses to be passed into and out of your lungs. Airways diseases impact these tubes, usually by making them narrow or by creating a blockage. Many people with airway diseases describe the feeling as breathing through a small opening, such as breathing through a straw. Some of the most common chronic lung diseases, including asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, fall into this category.

Lung Tissue Diseases

Diseases in this category cause scarring and inflammation of the lung tissue. As a result, the lungs cannot fully expand to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, which makes sufferers feels as though they cannot breathe deeply. Most people with lung tissue diseases feel like their lungs are being squeezed, as if they were wearing a sweater that is too tight. Sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis are two examples of this type of chronic lung disease.

Lung Circulation Diseases

Just as circulation problems can impact other parts of your body, they can also affect your lungs. Lung circulation diseases occur when the blood vessels inside the lungs become scarred, blocked, or inflamed. With a lung circulation disease, heart function may also be compromised. A common type of lung circulation disease is pulmonary hypertension.

At Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, we provide pulmonary rehab services via the Tampa Bay Heart Institute to help patients control their lung disease symptoms. In addition to our cardiopulmonary care, our hospital provides a comprehensive range of services, including emergency care and stroke care. Find out more by calling (888) 598-9586. 


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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