Health After 50 Topic Page:
Respiratory disorders serious enough to cause long-term breathing problems are common in the United States and will no doubt become more prevalent as the population gets older. Almost 400,000 Americans die of lung diseases every year, and over 35 million are now living with chronic lung disease.
Fortunately, technological advances are producing opportunities to prevent, diagnose, and treat lung diseases. As a result, people with these disorders live longer and better lives today than in the past.
At Health After 50, you’ll find articles on:
- Asthma: An inflammatory lung disease, asthma is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. It is considered an obstructive lung disease because it causes narrowing of the airways.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD): Like asthma, COPD is an obstructive lung disease; it includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Fortunately, there are many steps that people with COPD can take to make life easier.
- Sleep apnea: This condition refers to temporary, recurrent breathing interruptions that take place during sleep. Marked daytime drowsiness and snoring are two common signs of sleep apnea.
- Interstitial lung disease: The term “interstitial lung disease” refers to a group of conditions that cause extensive scarring of the interstitium, the tissue that makes up the walls of the air sacs in the lungs.
- Lung cancer: Most often caused by cigarette smoking, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. While lung cancer often is not caught before it has spread and becomes difficult to treat, many new therapies are being tested.
- Pulmonary embolism: A pulmonary embolism usually occurs when a blood clot from a deep vein in the leg breaks loose and blocks one or more arteries to or within the lungs.
- Infections: Common lung infections include acute bronchitis, influenza (the flu), and bacterial pneumonia. Vaccines can help prevent some of these infections, and treatments are available to ease their impact when they do develop.
If you or someone you care about has COPD or another serious lung condition, obtaining accurate information is an important part of the treatment plan.
- You’ll read articles on: pulmonary rehabilitation, COPD complications, living with COPD, sleep apnea treatment plan, quiet symptoms of lung cancer, benefits of oxygen therapy, lung reduction surgery, complementary therapies for lung cancer, getting rid of dust mites, and much more.
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