Healthy Lung Month: Asthma, bronchitis, COPD, mild cognitive impairment, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus

By: Bel Marra Health | Health News | Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 09:00 AM

Pretty blonde woman having breath difficultiesOctober is Healthy Lung Month, so we present our top articles discussing matters of the lungs, including asthma, bronchitis, COPD, mild cognitive impairment, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. During the month of October, we discuss the importance of the lungs along with useful tips to keep our lungs healthy.

Severe asthma may be tackled with new biologic drug

A new biologic drug in an injectable form has shown to reduce flare-ups in severe cases of asthma that is not easily controlled by steroid inhalers. The results come from two new clinical trials.

The drug benralizumab is a biologic that kills white blood cells known as eosinophils. This type of white blood cells has been found to be present in large numbers in asthma patients and has been associated with asthma severity.

If approved by the FDA, benralizumab would be another drug to add to the line of treatments for severe asthma. Continue reading…

bronchitis-signsIs bronchitis contagious? Types and symptoms of bronchitis

Bronchitis or inflammation of the bronchi, which carry air to the lungs, is a common condition, so people wonder, is bronchitis contagious? The answer is not cut and dry – it really depends on the type of bronchitis.

Bronchitis can be categorized as chronic or acute. Acute bronchitis is caused by an upper respiratory tract infection. About 90 percent of the time, this type of infection is caused by a virus, like the common flu. It is easy to identify due to the cough and mucus that it produces. When a person with acute bronchitis coughs or sneezes, he or she is releasing millions of tiny droplets that contain the virus, so in this case, the answer to the question whether bronchitis is contagious would be yes. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis does not come from an infectious agent. It does not get passed from one person to another, therefore, it is not contagious. Chronic bronchitis is usually caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to pollution or cigarette smoke.

People who work in the coal mining industry or are livestock farmers are more prone to chronic bronchitis. Conditions that compromise a person’s immune system can increase the risk of chronic bronchitis and so can multiple bouts of severe heartburn. Continue reading…

copd-mild-cognitive-impairmentCOPD patients are twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment and memory loss: Study

COPD patients are twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment and memory loss. The researchers looked at nearly 2,000 people aged 70 to 89. Of the participants, 1,600 were cognitively normal and 317 had mild cognitive impairment. Overall, 288 had COPD. It turned out thatCOPD patients were almost twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and the risk was higher among those who have had the lung disease for a long time.

First author Balwinder Singh said, “COPD is reversible in early stages, especially in smokers. These findings are important because they highlight the importance of COPD as a potential risk factor for MCI and will hopefully lead to early intervention to prevent incidence or progression.”

If MCI progresses or left untreated, it can lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading…

rheumatoid-arthritis-affects-lungsRheumatoid arthritis affects lungs, raises risk of interstitial lung disease

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lungs and raises the risk of interstitial lung disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune type of arthritis, and although it primarily affects the joints, it can affect other body parts and organs, too.

According to researchers, respiratory conditions are the second leading cause of death among rheumatoid arthritis patients. Some are a result of rheumatoid arthritis directly, while others are a byproduct of rheumatoid arthritis treatments.

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a pulmonary condition characterized by the progressive and irreversible scarring of lung tissue. ILD is the most serious and common lung disease among rheumatoid arthritis patients. Symptoms may take years to appear, but once they do appear the risk of mortality is already quite high. Symptoms of ILD include breathlessness, dry cough, wheezing, chest pain, and the clubbing of fingernails. Continue reading…

lupus-affects-the-lungsLupus affects lungs, leads to pleuritis, pneumonitis, and pulmonary hypertension

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that often impacts the lungs, and research shows pulmonary complications with this disease can lead to pleuritis, pneumonitis, and pulmonary hypertension.

When a person has a lung infection, it usually affects their airway and lung tissue, but with lupus it seems that it can impact all compartments of the lungs and include pleuritis, which is inflammation of the linings around the lung, as well as pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure that occurs in the arteries in the lungs). Those with lupus and lung problems can also get pneumonitis, inflammation of the walls of the alveoli in the lungs, normally caused by a virus. Continue reading…


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