A disease that is characterized by airway inflammation and constriction which causes shortness of breath, wheezing, and awakening in the middle of the night.  It can affect children and cause them to be short of breath or easily tired during school activities or sports. Asthma causes periodic attacks of wheezing and difficult breathing. Attacks are caused by hypersensitivity of the lungs and airways, which overreact to certain "triggers" or allergens.  This can cause the lung's airway to become inflamed and constricted. Inhaled steroids and ß-agonists help reduce the inflammation and constriction.

pulmonary_hypertension.pngPulmonary Hypertension

High blood pressure in the arteries that supply the lungs is called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The blood pressure measured by cuff on your arm is a measure of systemic blood pressure, and isn't directly related to the pressure in your lungs. In PAH, the blood vessels that supply the lungs constrict and their walls thicken, so they can't carry as much blood. As in a kinked garden hose, pressure builds up and backs up. The heart works harder, trying to force the blood through. If the pressure is high enough, eventually the heart can't keep up, and less blood can circulate through the lungs to pick up oxygen. Patients then become tired, dizzy and short of breath. PAH occurs commonly in patients with scleroderma but can occur in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, system lupus erythematosis and other collagen vascular disorder; congestive heart failure and pulmonary emboli. PAH can also occur in patients with prior history of using Phen-Fen or amphetamines.

ild.pngInterstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

ILD can also occur in patients who work in the technology sector with prior exposure history to heavy metals. 
A general term that includes a variety of chronic lung disorders. When a person has ILD, the lung is affected in three ways. First, the lung tissue is damaged in some known or unknown way. Second, the walls of the air sacs in the lung become inflamed. Finally, scarring (or fibrosis) begins in the interstitium (or tissue between the air sacs), and the lung becomes stiff.  Patients withrheumatoid arthritis, system lupus erythematosis, scleroderma and other collagen vascular disorders develop ILD.
Breathlessness during exercise or activity of daily living can be one of the first symptoms of these diseases. A dry cough also may be present. These are common symptoms that many people ignore. Someone with these symptoms might wait until they feel quite ill before going to the doctor.

smoking_cessation.pngSmoking Cessation

According to the 2004 Surgeon General's Report, The Health Consequences of Smoking, eliminating smoking can greatly reduce the occurrence of coronary heart disease and other lung diseases such as COPD and lung cancer. Smoking cessation is important in the medical management of many contributors to heart attack and lung disease. These include atherosclerosis (fatty buildup in arteries), thrombosis (blood clots), coronary artery spasm, cardiac arrhythmia (heart rhythm problems) and prograssion of lung disease. Quitting smoking can also help manage several other disorders, especially arteriosclerotic peripheral vascular disease (fatty buildups in peripheral arteries) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
According to the 2004 Surgeon General's Report, tobacco smoking remains the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.  There are treatments available with great success.