Lung Disease, Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

Learn all about lung disease and its causes.

The many disorders categorized under the umbrella of lung disease vary greatly. Most of these disorders lead to scarring of the lungs, decreasing your ability to breathe and oxygenate your blood. Though many of theses disorders are different the damaged caused by all of them is usually permanent. More than 35 million Americans suffer with some form of lung disease and it can be attributed to 1 in 7 deaths in the United States each year.

Lung Diseases

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is primarily caused by smoking.  COPD sufferers experience progressive narrowing of the airs sacs and small airways in the lungs. Naturally, this causes a shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. This disease is typically irreversible and almost entirely a smokers disease.

Emphysema is another lung disease that can be caused by smoking. Almost 85% of emphysema cases are attributed to smoking. Like COPD patients with emphysema experience continued deterioration of the air sacs in the lung. In advanced stages of emphysema sufferers may develop cyst in their lungs, as well as increased difficulty oxygenating blood.

Many researchers believe that certain cases of asthma may be related to smoking. It is known that second hand smoke can be a contributing factor to adolescent asthma and evidence shows it may contribute to adult onset asthma as well.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is surely the most recognizable of all the lung diseases caused by smoking. Lung cancer is the number one killer of all the types of cancer. Smokers make up 90% of all lung cancer cases and deaths.  Out of all the people diagnosed with lung cancer each year only a maximum amount of 15% will be cured by treatment. Second hand smoke can cause cancer to non-smokers. Each year around three thousand people die from lung cancer caused by second hand smoke.

There are two types of lung cancer, non-small cell and small cell. Non-small cell lung cancer is far more prevalent then small cell lung cancer. About 80% of all lung cancer patients have been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.  This type of cancer spreads to the rest of the body at a slower pace. Non-small cell lung cancer is the type of lung cancer developed by smokers. Currently, most available treatments for this type of cancer do not cure the patients affected.

The more frequently that you smoke the greater your risk for developing a lung disease. Studies have shown that if a smoker quits smoking by age 30 the chances of them developing a smoking related illness reduce by 90%. When you quit smoking each year abnormal cells that were damaged by smoking are replaced by normal healthy cells. Therefore every year that passes after a smoker quits the likelihood of them developing cancer or a lung disease decreases. Naturally, it is always possible to do permanent damage to your body when smoking. Non-smokers have far less instances of many of these smoking related illnesses.