For those seeking more information…
Knowledge itself is power. (Sir Francis Bacon, Meditations Sacrae)
In addition to the relief that comes when someone finally figures out why you are feeling the way you are, there may also be confusion. You may hear words to describe your condition and/or treatment that you have never heard before. Below are terms commonly associated with pulmonary issues, followed by links to some sites where you will find more information to help you navigate the road ahead.
Asthma – a disease that affects the tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of your lungs. Because the inside walls of the tubes are sore and swollen, they are very sensitive to things you are allergic to or that are irritating. When this happens, the tubes get narrower and your lungs get less air.
Bronchiectasis (brong-ke-EK-tah-sis) – a condition where damage to the tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of your lungs causes them to widen and become flabby and scarred. This prevents your airways from clearing mucus, resulting in serious lung infections, more damage to the airways and, over time, the inability to properly move air in and out of the lungs.
Bronchoscopy – a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease. It may also be used in the treatment of some lung conditions.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – a disease that affects the tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of your lungs and the small, balloon-like air sacs at the end of each tube causing them to lose their shape and become floppy.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan – also known as “CAT Scan”, provides cross-sectional pictures (or slices) of the area being scanned.
Lung Cancer – a disease arising when a series of mutations in normal lung cells cause abnormal cells that grow out of control. It is one of the most common cancers in the world.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – a condition where the flow of air pauses or decreases while you sleep because the tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of your lungs are narrow, blocked or floppy.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan – helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside your body are functioning.
Pneumonia – is an infection in one or both of your lungs.
Polysomnography – is a sleep study that measures your sleep cycles and stages.
Pulmonary Fibrosis – is a condition where the air sacs in your lungs and the tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of your lungs become scarred and make your lungs thick and stiff, making it hard to catch your breath.
Pulmonary Function Tests – a group of tests that measure how well the lungs admit and discharge air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body’s circulation.
Sarcoidosis – a disease that causes inflammation, commonly in the lungs, but can affect any organ in the body.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Resources to help you stop smoking: