About 37 million Americans have lung disease that requires treatment, and many of them don’t know they have it until the condition is advanced.
At Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep in St. Petersburg, Florida, our pulmonary specialists, Himanshu Chandarana, MD, and Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, offer diagnostic testing services and treatment options for a variety of lung diseases.
Here, they offer insight into some of the common warning signs of lung disease that you should watch for to ensure you get an early diagnosis.
Types of lung disease
There are several types of lung diseases that affect your respiratory health and the function of your lungs, including:
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes swelling in your airways and triggers your body to produce excess mucus, which makes breathing difficult.
Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the alveoli, the air sacs in your lungs.
Emphysema results when the alveoli in the lungs are damaged, which causes shortness of breath and other respiratory complications.
Chronic bronchitis describes long-term inflammation in the bronchi, the tubes that carry air into your lungs.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall under the umbrella of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a group of diseases that cause airflow blockages and breathing problems.
Another type of lung disease is lung cancer, which occurs when cells in the lungs divide abnormally. Cancer can interfere with your respiratory health and spread to other areas of your body. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world.
Symptoms of lung disease to watch for
If you have a history of smoking or a family history of lung cancer, you may be at higher risk for developing a lung disease. You’re also more likely to develop a lung disease if you work around toxic materials like asbestos.
When you have risk factors for lung cancer, it’s important that you report any unusual symptoms that affect your respiratory health right away.
Warning signs of lung disease can include:
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up mucus or blood
- Difficulties exercising or being physically active
While these symptoms can relate to other medical conditions, they’re potential signs of an underlying lung disease. Our team at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep offers diagnostic testing services on-site to confirm or rule out a lung disease as the cause of your symptoms.
We also provide customized treatment plans to help you manage symptoms of a lung disease and prevent the condition from worsening.
Treatment options for lung disease
Your treatment plan for a lung disease depends on many factors, such as your age, the type of disease you have, and the severity of your symptoms. Treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Respiratory therapy
- Smoking cessation programs
- Supplemental oxygen
If you have lung cancer, our pulmonary experts can discuss your options for radiation, chemotherapy, and other cancer treatments. If you have risk factors for lung cancer, we offer in-office lung cancer screenings.
Call Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep today to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for symptoms of lung disease or book your appointment online.