Respiratory System Disorders

In this page we shall give you some idea about some of the common respiratory system disorders, those are as follows: -

Respiratory System Disorders: Asthma

It is a chronic, inflammatory disorder that produces sporadic narrowing of airways. Attacks of asthma are brought out by contractions of the smooth muscles in the walls of the smaller bronchi and bronchioles, causing these airways to close partially or may be completely. The symptoms of this respiratory system disorders include periods of coughing, difficult breathing and wheezing and the patient has trouble during expiration.  In acute cases of asthma there is excessive secretion of mucus that may clog the bronchi and bronchioles and worsen the attack. In severe conditions, the inflammation continues, accompanied by fibrosis, oedema, and necrosis of the bronchial epithelial cells. The main causes of asthma may be an allergen, such as pollen, house dust, mites, flecks of sloughed off animal skin, molds, etc. and also emotional upset, exercise, and breathing cold air or cigarette smoke.

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Respiratory System Disorders: Emphysema

Emphysema is one of the obstructive respiratory system disorders in which the lung tissues are comprehensively damaged. The walls between adjacent alveoli- break down, the alveolar ducts dilate and there is loss of interstitial elastic tissue. So, the lungs become distended. As the disease progresses, it may lead to hypoxia, pulmonary hypertension and ultimately heart failure. Cigarette smoking, acute inflammation of bronchi and lungs, increased pressure caused by coughing and congenital deficiency of an anti-proteolytic enzyme, α1 - antitrypsin are some important predisposing factors of emphysema.

Respiratory System Disorders: Pneumoconiosis

This group of Respiratory System Disorders is caused by inhaling organic or inorganic atmospheric impurities. Harmful dust particles respired in by miners and some other workers create little circles of inflammation in the lungs, and each of these ultimately forms a solid lump which shows up when the lung is examined by X-ray. This gives the X-ray picture a spotted appearance, indicating the disease called pneumoconiosis. When the lung tissues become thickened and inflexible is known as fibrosis. Consequently, the sufferer becomes increasingly more and more breathless; and develops a obstinate cough. Once the disease has been allowed to take hold, destruction of lung tissue continues even after exposure to dust has ceased.
The different pneumoconiosis is named after the type of dust which causes them. The most usual are coal-miner's pneumoconiosis from coal and from the dust of rock such as quartz or silica form silicosis.

Coal workers pneumoconiosis

Inhaling large quantities of coal dust over a period of 10 to 15 years can convey this occupational respiratory system disorder. It is common among the workers of coal-mines. The particles of coal dust lodge mainly in the upper two-thirds of the lungs and are ingested by macrophages inside the alveoli. Initial in the disease there may be few clinical signs unless emphysema develops or there is simultaneous chronic bronchitis.


This occupational respiratory system disorders is found in workers who blast hard rock, in mining, quarrying and shaft driving. Others, too can become exposed to rock dust—stone masons, men who sand-blast dirty buildings, and people who procedure certain kinds of clay in the pottery industry. In such case, silica particles are inhaled they gather in the alveoli. The particles are ingested by macrophages, some of which remain in the alveoli and some move out into the connective tissues around respiratory bronchioles and blood vessels and close to the pleura. Progressive fibrosis is inspired which ultimately destroys the blood vessels and respiratory bronchioles. Regular destruction of lung tissue leads to pulmonary hypertension and ultimately heart failure.


This type of occupational respiratory system disorders is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers in dust. Asbestos miners and workers intricate in making and using some products comprising asbestos are at this type of risk. Exposure to asbestos dust significantly increases the chances of developing cancer of the lung.


This occupational respiratory system disorders is caused by the inhalation of fibers of cotton, flax and hemp over a period of years. The fibers cause bronchial irritation. At first, breathless attacks when the individual is at work. Future, they become more obstinate and chronic bronchitis and emphysema may develop, leading to chronic hypoxia, pulmonary hypertension and also, heart failure.

Allergic Respiratory System Disorders

Those are suffering from allergic lung diseases develop antibodies against dust, irritant gases, and some animal and vegetables. Occupational asthma also is in this category. It is an allergic disease, brought on by inhaling chemical, animal or some vegetable substances at work. By anti-allergic drugs this type of diseases can be treated.