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Lungs

September 4, 2020 | 10:01 am

What do our lungs do?

Our lungs play a major role in our respiratory system. Its main function is to supply the needed oxygen of every organ in our body and to get rid of carbon dioxide.

Our lungs have its own defense system and is also self-cleaning. However, it is still possible to have a lung disorder or lung disease.

 

What are the common lung conditions?

  1. Asthma

Asthma is a lung condition where airway narrowing occurs due to swelling of the lining or mucosa, sputum production and construction of the smooth muscle surrounding it as a response to a trigger such as allergens (dust, pollen, insects, animal dander, etc.) This could result into coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

 

  1. Bronchitis

It is a bacterial or a viral main airway infection. In acute cases, the infection can spread into the lungs.

 

  1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Also called chronic bronchitis, this may be caused by air pollution, chemicals, smoking or genetic condition.

COPD gets worse over time and may lead to disability and even death.

 

  1. Pneumonia

It is an infection of bronchioles and alveoli. This may cause difficulty in breathing because of the pus and mucus build-up and swelling of the lungs. This can happen to anyone, but children, elderly, smokers and ill people are at a higher risk of acquiring this infection.

 

  1. Tuberculosis

It is a bacterial infection spread through droplets from a cough or a sneeze. It can be serious and may lead to lung scarring.

 

Lung diseases may require going through series of tests in order to know its origin and condition, and for treatment and monitoring.

 

Common tests for lung diseases:

Laboratory Examinations

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • This is used to evaluate your blood cells and detect infections.
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of body fluid
    • This is used for white blood and red blood cells count, and to measure sugar and protein content of the fluid collected from your lungs.
  • Lung tissue biopsy
    • This is used to evaluate your lung tissue for damage or cancer.
  • Gram stain / Culture sensitivity
    • This is used to identify bacteria in the sample taken from your lungs and its sensitivity to identify how it is can be treated.
  • Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA)
    • This is used to detect auto-immune disorders.

 
Radiology Procedures

  • Chest X-ray
    • This is used to analyze your lung structure and chest cavity. It is the most common test to detect and diagnose abnormalities in the lungs such as edema, pneumonia, tumors, cancers and other chest conditions.
  • CT Scan
    • This is used for a more detailed image of the organs and structures inside your chest. It is used to detect conditions such as infection, lung cancer, pulmonary embolism and other lung problems.
  • MRI
    • This is used for detailed imaging of organs, chest wall and blood vessels in the chest.
  • Ultrasound
    • This is used to assess organs and structures within the chest such as lungs, mediastinum and pleural space.

 

References:

  1. Healthline
  2. Lab Tests Online

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Disclaimer:

All content found on the DLSUMC microsite, including text, graphics, images, audio or other formats were created for general informational purposes only and are not intended or implied to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call your local emergency hotline immediately.

 

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