Chronic inflammatory lung disease caused by inhaling mineral dust containing silicon, hard coal, or asbestos particles. Pneumoconioses are occupational or environmental diseases. The inflammation caused by the particles where they come in contact with the lungs leads to the destruction of respiratory tissue and its replacement by fibrous scar tissue. When this happens there is less lung available for the exchange of oxygen with resulting shortness of breath, and it is harder for the right side of the heart to pump blood through the scarred lungs, which leads to right heart failure. There is no cure for the pneumoconioses. The aim of treatment is to prevent further damage and infection. Breathing exercises and carefully graded activity can make the most of the remaining undamaged lung tissue.
Acute inflammation of the lungs in which the tiny air sacs become so filled with inflammatory exudate that respiration cannot take place. It may be caused by bacteria, viruses, chemical damage from inhalation of certain gases, or from inhalation of vomit. Bacterial pneumonia, which may develop when resistance is lowered by colds, influenza, or general poor health, may affect only one lung or one lobe of a lung when it is called lobar pneumonia. When both lungs are affected it is called bilateral or double pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia, which often strikes without much warning, include very high fever, rigors, headache, sharp chest pains, rapid shallow breathing, harsh dry cough followed by, perhaps, the bringing up of rust-colored sputum containing blood and pus. Bacterial pneumonia can be successfully treated with antibiotics. Many cases of pneumonia, particularly in infants and the elderly, require admission to the hospital so that appropriate nursing care is available day and night and so that oxygen can b administered if necessary.
In health, the pleural layer covering the lungs is in close contact with the pleural layer which lines the chest cavities, with only a thin film of fluid separating the two layers. Pneumothorax develops when air enters the pleural cavity. This may happen when the lung perforates due to an injury or may occur as a result of perforating injuries of the chest wall. Rarely, pneumothorax can develop dramatically when an apparently healthy person takes a forceful, deep breath or bursts out laughing. The pressure of air in the pleural cavity causes the lung to collapse, preventing respiration on the affected side. Symptoms are sudden severe pain in the chest, shoulder tip pain, and shortness of breath. The diagnosis is confirmed by chest X-Ray. Pneumothorax is an emergency usually requiring hospital admission for oxygen administration and round the clock nursing care. Treatment is to correct the cause.