Increasing level of pollution has made breathing in urban areas very difficult, raising the incidence of respiratory problems. Out of the world’s top 20 cities with polluted air, 13 belong to India and according to the World health Organisation (WHO) report published in 2011, lung diseases rank 2ndin the list of top 20 causes of death. Naturally, lung disease is a big health issue that needs to be addressed. Here are some facts about lung disease you should know about.
To understand the condition of your lungs, you need to first understand how the lungs function. Lungs are soft organs present on both right and left side of the chest. They are protected by a had covering called the ribcage. Each lung is made of sections called lobes. The main function of the lungs is to make oxygen available for purifying blood and to and eliminate carbondioxide from impure blood or deoxygenated blood. So when you breathe, air travels down your windpipe (trachea). The windpipe bifurcates with each branch entering each of the lungs. Into the lungs, the windpipe is further branched to tubes called bronchioles that end in small sacs called alveoli, where the inhaled air reaches for delivering oxygen.
A lung disease or disorder occurs in the various structures of lungs and disrupts its functioning. It can vary from a mild common cold to life-threatening conditions like pneumonia and cancer. Lung disease can be caused by infections, inflammation, obstruction of airways, decreased lung function, problems related to pulmonary circulation, etc. Smoking, infections, air pollution, genetics, exposure to asbestos, etc. can cause various lung diseases.