Respiratory Illness and Disease Research
Respiratory illness and disease is an umbrella term for a wide range of complications involving the respiratory system. Most commonly, this will involve the bronchial system, a system that resembles an upside down tree in appearance (pictured below).
The branches of this upside down tree carry air to and from the smaller cells of the lungs. When these branches become inflamed, they can narrow and it is this narrowing that is defined as bronchitis. Asthma is also categorized by the bronchial tubes becoming inflamed, but there is a very important distinction between the two. Asthma is triggered by an allergic reaction to a number of irritants or allergens, where as bronchitis is classified as an infection. For more information on the distinction between the two, please investigate the relevant articles below. Most respiratory illnesses are caused or triggered by cigarette smoke. Smoking agitates cells in the lungs and causes them to inflame. This in turn creates enzymes that attack the alveoli membranes. The alveoli membranes serve to make the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange possible, and when they are attacked it is harder to breathe successfully. So the best prevention for all respiratory illnesses is to stop smoking.
There are treatments and medications prescribed for most respiratory complications, the most well known of these being the inhaler. It is critical that a person is well educated on the appropriate way to use this device. Reeducation may also be necessary for people who had been using the old inhaler. Floating the device in water or shaking it used to be a way to gauge how much medication was left inside the device, but this is no longer the case. A patient now needs to rely on monitoring the number of puffs they have taken to know how much medication is left inside of their inhaler. For more information on the correct technique to use an inhaler and an in-depth explanation of the various types of respiratory illness and disease and the research surrounding them, please refer to the information below.