Thursday, 25 May 2017

DISEASES OF THE LUNGS

Pneumonia is an infection of the alveoli. It can be caused by many kinds of both bacteria (e.g., Streptococcus pneumoniae) and viruses. Tissue fluids accumulate in the alveoli reducing the surface area exposed to air. If enough alveoli are affected, the patient may need supplemental oxygen.

Asthma

In asthma, periodic constriction of the bronchi and bronchioles makes it more difficult to breathe in and, especially, out. Attacks of asthma can be
  • triggered by airborne irritants such as chemical fumes and cigarette smoke
  • airborne particles to which the patient isallergic.
Emphysema

In this disorder, the delicate walls of the alveoli break down, reducing the gas-exchange area of the lungs. The condition develops slowly and is seldom a direct cause of death. However, the gradual loss of gas-exchange area forces the heart to pump ever-larger volumes of blood to the lungs in order to satisfy the body's needs. The added strain can lead to heart failure.


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