Respiratory Diseases


Respiratory Diseases Essay, Research Paper

Respiratory Diseases

Respiration is the process of taking in and using oxygen. There are

three different phases of respiration: external respiration, internal

respiration, and cellular respiration. External respiration is the intake of

oxygen from the environment and the release of carbon dioxide. In internal

respiration, oxygen is carried to the cells and carbon dioxide is carried away

from the cells. In cellular respiration, oxygen is used in chemical reactions

within the cells.

Some Diseases of the respiratory system are: bronchial asthma, the common

cold, and diphtheria.

Bronchial asthma is a disease in which the bronchial passages are made

smaller and swelling of the mucous lining causes blockage of breathing, usually

due to dust, animal fur or feathers, or pollen. Many people have asthma which

is caused by allergies, called extrinsic asthma, usually suffer from hay fever.

Non allergic asthma, which adults usually have, is called intrinsic asthma.

Intrinsic asthma is usually caused by respiratory infections and emotional

upsets. A typical asthma attack begins with coughing, wheezing, and shortness

of breath. Some people have dry coughing as the only symptom. Attacks usually

last only a couple hours. An attack may happen again in hours to even years

after the first attack.

Asthma attacks can be treated and prevented by the use of drugs. Albuterol

or terbutaline, which can bring relief within minutes, is the usual treatment.

The common cold is another disease of the respiratory system. The cold

affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It causes nasal

congestion, sore throat, and coughing. A cold usually lasts up to an average

of seven days. There is no known cure for the common cold yet.

Diphtheria is another respiratory disease that, most of the time, affects

children. The disease enters the body through the nose and mouth and attack the

mucous membrane where they multiply and secrete a powerful poison. The heart and

central nervous system are damaged by the poison and it can lead to death.

Toxoids, which are given to infants during the first year of life, are

harmless forms of the diphtheria poison which immunize the children against

serious infection.

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