Common Breathing Disorders.

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Pulmonary Emphysema:

The term literally means ‘excess air in lungs’ however it is used to describe obstructive and destructive process of lungs caused by many years of smoking or chemical and irritants.

What happens?

1. Chemical, toxins over billion in a cigarette paralyze the bronchioles and respiratory tract.

2. Excessive mucous accumulates and blocks air ways.

3. Air cannot be expired out and starts to overstretch walls of alveoli rupturing them


 Less air accumulated and ventilated, causing heavy tiring breathing. Chronic emphysema over years can increase ‘air hunger’ and prove fatal.


Any inflammation of the lungs in which all or sum alveoli are filled with fluid and blood cells. Common cause is bacteria pneumococci.

What happens?

1. Infection in alveoli causes it to be inflamed and porous to surrounding blood cells and fluid.

2. Fluid consolidates the alveoli decreasing space and area for normal gas diffusion


Decreased ventilation proves fatal in later stages.


It means mental anguish associated with inability to ventilate enough to satisfy ‘air hunger’.


1. Hypercapnia: excessive amounts of carbon dioxide gas in body

2. Hypoxia: low amounts of oxygen in body.

3. Work performed by muscles: even if normal amounts of gases diffuse in lungs if for any reason muscles for respiration work harder dyspnea can occur.

4. Neurogenic dyspnea: even if the gases diffuse normally and muscles work properly for respiration abnormal state of mind can cause dyspnea. This feeling is enhanced in people with psychological fears of not breathing sufficiently.


It is the characteristic spastic contraction of smooth muscles in bronchioles and cause difficult breathing. it occurs 3 to 5 percent of people at some point in life.


  1. Hypersensitivity of bronchioles to a foreign particle e.g. pollen. – 70 % of people below 30 years of age.

  2. Hypersensitivity to non-allergic type of irritants e.g.: smog- in older people.

What happens?

·       Irritants cause an allergic reaction in body by attaching to walls of alveoli.

  • Increased amounts of antibodies are formed and cause secretion of substances which cause mucus formation and spastic contraction of respiratory muscles.

  • Bronchioles are occluded

  • Chest cage enlarges due to pressure of non expired air.


Person can adequately inspire but has extreme difficulty in breathing, spastic contractions occur and person may have a barrel chest over period of years.


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