Lung diseases that affect the airways of the lungs include emphysema and asthma. Although all three conditions can affect your breathing, they can vary in severity, causes, treatment, and even the way you are treated.
Asthma is affecting about 26,000,000 people in America. Asthma causes the narrowing of the airways and inflammation around small airways.
Emphysema or bronchitis may be a sign of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), which can also cause a narrowing in the airways.
Emphysema is caused by the destruction of tiny air sacs or alveoli in the lungs. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes that causes coughing and mucus production.
This article will discuss the symptoms, severity, and transmission of each condition, as well as its causes and treatments.
There are common symptoms of asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. These symptoms include shortness or wheezing and chest tightness.
Chronic cough and trusted Source blood can be a sign of bronchitis or emphysema. Other symptoms can be experienced by people with bronchitis or emphysema, such as trusted sources.
- Blue or gray lips and nails
- chest pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- abnormal heartbeat
People with any of these conditions could also experience flares or worsening symptoms, especially during winter.
Asthma severity can vary from mild to severe. The symptoms of asthma don’t always get better.
Some cases of asthma can worsen over time as a result of exposure to allergens. This causes a dramatic decrease in lung function.
Emphysema severity and bronchitis can vary from mild to severe. A severe case of COPD can cause lung damage and airflow obstruction.
Tobacco smoking can make it more dangerousTrusted Source to COPD.
COPD is generally more severe than asthma. Asthma can be reversed with the right medications and treatment. COPD, on the other hand, is a progressive condition that gets worse over time and cannot be curable.
Non-communicable diseases such as asthma and emphysema cannot be spread.
Many genetic and environmental factors can lead to the development of theseTrustedSource conditions.
Acute bronchitis is contagiousTrusted source. The bacteria or viruses that cause it can be spread by droplets released during coughing or sneezing. When someone is in close contact with the affected person, acute bronchitis may also spread.
Many risk factors can lead to asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.
According to the American Lung Association people with asthma are 3 to 6 times more likely to get it if they have a parent with the condition.
Another common cause of asthma is:
- Allergies such as rhinitis and eczema
- Infancy and childhood respiratory infections
- Exposure to chemical fumes and dust in the workplace
The triggers that cause asthma can vary from person to person.
Bronchitis and Emphysema
The most common cause is COPD from smoking, which can also include bronchitis and emphysema.
About 80-90%Trusted sources of those with COPD smoke cigarettes. Most people with COPD develop symptoms after smoking at least 20 cigarettes per year.
COPD can also be caused by:
- Secondhand smoke exposure
- Exposure to chemicals, dust, and fumes in the workplace
- History of asthma or other childhood respiratory infections
- Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a rare genetic condition.
- Indoor air pollution such as that caused by burning coal or biomass fuel
The treatment methods for each individual will differ depending on their condition.
Asthma treatment aims to decrease the severity and frequency of symptoms.
The severity of the condition, age, and response to medication are all factors that doctors consider when recommending treatment.
Asthma medicines includeTrustedSource short-relief medications for mild cases, and long-term control medicine for severe cases.
These are quick-relief medicines:
- oral corticosteroids
- Inhaled short-acting beta2-agonists, (SABAs),
- short-acting anticholinergics
These are long-term medications for controlling diabetes
- Biologic medicines
- leukotriene modifiers
- Inhaled long-acting bronchodilators
- Inhaled mast cell stabilizers
- allergy shots
Bronchial thermoplasty is recommended only for severe cases that have not responded to traditional treatments. Bronchial thermoplastic can reduce the thickness of muscle in the airways.
Non-pharmacological treatments may be recommended by doctors to reduce mild cases of bronchitis. This includeTrusted Sources:
- Hot tea
- throat lozenges
They might also recommend:
- Beta-agonists to decrease wheezing
- Analgesic and antipyretic medication to ease fever or malaise
- Steroids to reduce inflammation
The following are some treatment options that doctors might recommend for emphysema: Trusted Source
- Bronchodilators are available in both short- and long-acting forms
- Oxygen Therapy
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
If a severe illness is not improving with medication, surgery is the last resort.
Emphysema and asthma are all diseases of the airways. The latter two can also be part of COPD. These conditions have some common symptoms. COPD is a progressive condition that can be more severe than asthma.
Bronchitis can be transmitted from one person to another. Emphysema and asthma do not spread in a direct manner. Many factors can lead to the development of asthma, lung disease, and bronchitis.
There are many treatment options available, depending on the severity and age of the condition.
To avoid severe forms of these conditions, it is important that people with symptoms consult their doctor as soon as possible.