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Chronic lung disease: Comprehensive information about ailment

July 20, 2012 • Lung Disease

What is the meaning of chronic lung disease?

Chronic Lung Disease (CLD) mainly comprises of respiratory diseases, like bronchitis, emphysema or asthma. There is obstruction in flow of air through lungs due to distortion of lung tissues. These diseases are progressive and can’t be cured by any medication, but steps are taken to halt the progression of disease. Chronic lung disease is permanent and impossible to be cured. Chronic lung disease is also termed ad Broncho-Pulmonary Dysplasia (BPD).

The obstruction caused due to lung diseases is irreversible. The flow of air through alveoli in lungs becomes abnormal and it worsens without taking any treatment or precautions. Chronic lung disease can be prevented by following certain preventions in your regular life. Patients having airway blockage can get COPD, asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory problems.

What are the causes of chronic lung disease?

Chronic lung disease can arise at any age. It even arises in new-borns or people having lung injury or imperfection. It can occur in premature babies who have fragile lungs, which are prone to damage. The tissues become inflamed and infected, which can cause scarring. It can result in breath shortening and increment oxygen needs of a body.

Common chronic lung disease causes include:

  • Premature babies get it due to undeveloped lungs
  • Excessive oxygen inhalation, which can damage lung cells
  • Lower surfactant values, which opens tiny air sacs
  • Mechanical ventilator can generate air pressure from breathing machines for suctioning of airways.

Chronic lung disease in premature babies

Chronic lung disease can develop in premature babies or adults. Reasons for developing CLD in premature babies include:

  • Birth in less than 30 weeks gestation.
  • Hyaline membrane disease: Lung disease due to lack of surfactant, which doesn’t improve in 3rd or 4th day.
  • Birth weight of baby less than 2 pounds.
  • Premature Caucasian: Male babies can develop BPD soon.
  • Chorioamnionitis (Womb infection)
  • Family history of asthma
  • PIE (Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema)
  • Breathing issues at birth time
  • Infection immediately after birth
  • PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus)

Chronic Lung Disease symptoms

Chronic Lung Disease (CLD) symptoms include:

  • Respiratory stresses
  • Nostrils flaring up
  • Chest retractions
  • Swift breathing
  • Grunting
  • Shortening of breath
  • Need of mechanical ventilation in premature babies

The symptoms of CLD resemble many other conditions. It is important to consult physician to make diagnosis of disease.

Chronic Lung Disease diagnose

CLD requires proper diagnosis. In premature babies, it is diagnosed with their improper respiratory problems. In adults, x-rays are taken to produce images of inner organs. Blood tests and echocardiography is also done in some patients to confirm the causes of dysplasia.

Chronic lung disease treatment

  • Ventilators are used to mechanically supply oxygen to lungs and pulse oximetry can be used to determine oxygen inside blood.
  • Surfactant replacement
  • Medications (steroids, diuretics, antibiotics, bronchodilators)
  • Immunization to get rid of lung infection, flu and pneumonia
  • Incubators to keep warmth in new-borns
  • Intravenous fluids and nutrition to help lungs to grow in a baby

Chronic lung disease treatments can be undertaken according to present condition of patient. CLD is a permanent condition. Some premature babies take several months to get cured of respiratory diseases. This can be the case of adults having problem in lungs. CLD can be due to respiratory infection and can be treated with proper medication and other procedures.

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