Cheyne-Stokes Respiration

Definition of Cheyne-Stokes Respiration A pattern of breathing in which periods of apnea alternate with periods of accelerated breathing. Cheyne-Stokes respiration indicates damage to the brainstem or other nervous system mechanisms that regulate breathing. This breathing pattern also occurs in severe heart failure. During the apneic periods, which may last up to 60 seconds, breathing stops. During […]

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Pneumonitis – definition, symptoms and treatment

Definition of Pneumonitis Inflammation of the lungs resulting from exposure to an irritant. The inflammation causes the airways to narrow and to increase mucus secretion, reducing the pathways for the flow of air. The major types are aspiration pneumonitis, which develops when foreign matter, such as vomitus or water, enters the airways and lungs chemical […]

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The Pulmonary System

Definition of Pulmonary System The pulmonary system brings oxygen into the body and expels metabolic wastes in the form of gases. Physician specialists who treat conditions of the pulmonary system are internists who have subspecialty certifications in pulmonary medicine (pulmonologists). Physician specialists who operate on the lungs and related structures are thoracic surgeons. Functions of […]

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Definition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are a serious, often debilitating, and potentially fatal condition in which inflammation and scarring destroy alveoli, bronchioles, and bronchi. The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking; 8 of 10 Americans who have COPD are smokers. Uncontrolled asthma and chronic lung diseases such […]

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Pneumothorax – definition, symptoms and treatment

Definition of Pneumothorax Pneumothorax is a circumstance in which air gets in the pleural space (membrane space between the pleural linings of the lung and the thoracic cavity). Pneumothorax results in collapse of a portion of, or the entire, lung. Doctors identify different kinds. They include spontaneous pneumothorax, in which the pneumothorax occurs for no identifiable […]

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Pulmonary Hypertension – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Pulmonary Hypertension Elevated blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and the arteries within the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension develops when the arteries in the lungs become stiff and narrowed, increasing the resistance blood encounters in trying to flow through them. The condition typically starts in the smallest of arteries, the arterioles, and progressively involves larger arteries until pressure within the […]

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Cystic Fibrosis and the Lungs – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Cystic Fibrosis Cystic fibrosis is an inherited genetic disorder affecting mucus production and clearance, cystic fibrosis alters the functioning of exocrine glands throughout the body and affects nearly all of the body’s systems. In the lungs, cystic fibrosis causes changes in the consistency and composition of the mucus the lungs secrete. The mucus accumulates along the inner […]

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Pulmonary edema – symptoms, causes and treatment

Definition of Pulmonary Edema Pulmonary Edema is Abnormal fluid accumulation within the alveoli and the interstitial tissues of the lungs, typically resulting from cardiovascular disease (cvd)such as heart failure or cardiomyopathy. Pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ards), smoke inhalation, near drowning, and high altitude can also cause pulmonary edema. Pulmonary edema can be a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical evaluation […]

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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – Symptoms and Treatment

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Definition Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a complex of symptoms, formerly called adult respiratory distress syndrome, in which respiratory distress and respiratory failure develop accompanying severe illness or trauma. ARDS involves the whole of both lungs, as the lungs become inflamed and fill with fluid. ARDS may develop as a consequence […]

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Dyspnea – Definition, Causes, Treatment

Definition of Dyspnea Dyspnea – Difficulty BREATHING or shortness of breath. There are numerous causes of dyspnea, most of which relate to cardiovascular or pulmonary disorders. Dyspnea occurs when the body does not receive enough oxygen. As oxygen is the fuel for cellular activity, lack of oxygen means cells cannot function properly. When oxygen insufficiency (HYPOXIA) is systemic […]

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