The alveoli, air sacks, lose their shape and become enlarged. Because of this, not as much oxygen can get into the blood, and shortness of breath interferes with daily activities. The doctor rules out other causes for the persistent cough and shortness of breath before making a diagnosis.
Treatment includes anti-fungal medications either orally or intravenously. Close monitoring to halt the progress of the disease is prudent.
Asthma is essentially an inflammation of the airways. During an attack the muscles surrounding the airways tighten, causing the airways to constrict. The inflammation and the decreased ability of the lungs to inflate make breathing labored and difficult.
Additionally the lungs may be clogged with mucus all of which can be life threatening. The management of Asthma includes avoiding exposure to things that trigger asthma (such as pets and dust), bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory agents.
Patients can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of decreased lung function and the appropriate use of rescue medications so control of the process can be gained and severity of attacks diminished.
Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency is a common but under-diagnosed genetic condition. It is associated with chronic air flow obstruction and shortness of breath. Although smoking and/or exposure to inhaled irritants, aggravates and speeds up the disease process, non-smokers can be affected as well. Testing for AATD consists of evaluation of the symptoms, and when appropriate, Pulmonary Function Tests and serum levels. Treatment is similar to the care of COPD along with specific modalities for AATD. Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency can be severe and debilitating. However, with aggressive therapy the disease progression can be slowed and the quality of life improved significantly.