Respiratory Disorders: Definition, Types, and Treatment

  • Post last modified:February 24, 2022
  • Reading time:7 mins read

What is Respiratory Disorders?

o Pair of healthy lungs expanding, contracting taking in oxygen and the deliver of the same to the blood and giving out the unwanted gases.

o Also, when there is need of breathing during a run or sprint, there is a reserved breath in the lung.

o There are some disorders observed in the respiratory system for the certain parts or the complete system.

o These disorders can be chronic or infectious.

o Weak lungs and immune system are more prone to infectious disorder.

Types of Respiratory Disorders

Chronic respiratory disorders disorder can be of – obstructive or restrictive

I. Obstructive Respiratory Disorders

o This disorder constitutes blocked or narrowed airways this will lead to the difficulty in exchange of gases.

o Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): It obstructs the airway of lungs with excess mucus also makes the airway less elastic. It causes emphysema (damaged air sacs of lungs) and chronic bronchitis (inflammation of air sacs with excessive mucus of the lungs).

o Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency: It is a genetic condition that gives a risk towards lungs or liver disorder.

o Protein Alpha: 1 antitrypsin is used for the protection of the own immune system. This could also lead to the COPD.

o Cystic Fibrosis: Genetic disorder that caused due to mucus secretion in the organs specially lungs, results in respiratory complication like infection, respiratory failure or even inflammation.

o Asthma: this is a reactive form of disorder mostly reacting against allergens and trigger against it by the inflammation of the airway. Most common in children also may be temporarily be treated.

o Bronchiectasis: widening of the airway that makes it difficult to lower the mucus production and of phlegm which in turn rises the risk of infection.

II. Restrictive Respiratory Disorders

o It leads to the reduction of elasticity or the ability of lungs to expand. There is a reduction of the volume of air that lungs take in.

o Pulmonary fibrosis: In this the lung movement is restricted due to the stiffening and scars of lung tissue. This results in the reduction of volume of air in the lungs. The common type of pulmonary fibrosis is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis of which the cause is unknown but only another condition complication.

o Sarcoidosis: In this there is a growth of inflammatory cells in the lungs and affecting other organs of the body.

o Lung Cancer: It can cause inflammation in the respiratory system also the tumour may restrict the airway that cause to collect the fluid in the lungs. This may lead to the expansion difficulty.

III. Infectious Condition

o These lung conditions are temporary but might reoccur leading to chronic condition.

o Tuberculosis: It is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and other parts. This may be latent or inactive for years.

o Pneumonia: It is a virus or bacteria caused lung infection. People with COPD are vulnerable for the pneumonia.

o Sinusitis: Paranasal sinuses present in the hollow spaces around nasal cavity in the skull have mucus linings. During some allergen or any other kind of infection may lead to the inflammation of the mucus membrane and block the passage of mucus.

Causes of Respiratory Disorder

o Smoking: These can lead to COPD and lung cancer risks and even worsen the asthma situation. Also, passive smoke leads to infections in the respiratory system.

o Air pollution and environmental condition like pollen or other allergen may lead to the risk of disorders.

o Autoimmune Conditions: Or other immune-compromising condition may lead to the conditions of the respiratory disorder.

o Genetic: These disorders may also be due to the underlying genetic condition.

Symptoms of Respiratory Disorder

There might be symptoms particular to the disorder but mostly common symptoms are observed;

o Cough (dry, wet due to mucus production)

o Chest tightness

o Shortness of breath

o Fatigue

o Rapid shallow breathing

o Recurring respiratory infections

Treatment of Respiratory Disorder

o Asthma: Key treatments include nebulizers and inhalers. The drugs that are prescribed are mostly corticosteroids, leukotriene modulators that help prevent asthma symptoms. Drugs like theophylline or long – term beta agonists are recommended for the relaxation of the airway muscles. There is long a combination of drug used for the treatment.

o COPD: Depending upon the symptoms and seriousness treatment like nebulizer, inhalers and other treatments are prescribed. There are certain guidelines to be followed for the COPD treatment.

o Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: For this kind of fibrosis there are only two oral medications that has been approved for use – pirfenidone (Esbriet), nintedanib (Ofev).

o Cystic Fibrosis: – Three drug combination known as Trikafta has been approved by FDA for the treatment.

o For the treatment of infection like tuberculosis, depending upon the complexity there is antibiotic course for different time limit. Drugs like – Isoniazid, Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), Ethambutol (Myambutol), Pyrazinamide.

o Also, it is similar for pneumonia – different drugs with different course of work are prescribed for the treatment like NSAIDs, aspirin or acetaminophen.

o Sinusitis: Saline sprays, over the counter drugs that reduces inflammation, steam inhalation is some of the treatment for such infections.

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