What Are the Different Lung Conditions?

According to the American Lung Association, more than 34 million Americans live with conditions that affect the lungs. Many lung diseases can impact your quality of life and even be life-threatening. 

Learn more about the different types of respiratory conditions, what their symptoms are, and what can put you at risk. 


Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes inflammation in the airways, making it difficult to breathe. The most common symptoms are:

  • Wheezing
  • Dry cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Allergic reactions, pollution, and infections can trigger asthma attacks. 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to many respiratory illnesses that cause an inability to exhale correctly or breathlessness. Common COPD symptoms include:

  • Frequent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up sputum

COPD is a condition closely associated with those who smoke or have been exposed to smoke. 


Emphysema is a form of COPD. Its most common symptom is trouble exhaling air from the lungs. Cigarette smoke causes damage to the air sacs in the lungs, and when they can no longer repair themselves, emphysema develops. It is the lung disease most likely to lead to respiratory failure. 

Lung Cancer

This type of cancer can develop in any part of the lung, making it difficult to detect. Mutations to the DNA of lung cells cause them to rapidly multiply and create a tumor that interferes with the lung’s normal function. Symptoms include:

  • Changes in voice
  • Chronic coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Harsh breathing sounds

Exposure to cigarette smoke, asbestos, and pollution can increase the chances of developing lung cancer. 

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic respiratory illness that a defective gene causes. This gene creates sticky, thick mucus that blocks passageways and can lead to repeated lung infections and pancreas obstructions. Symptoms are:

  • Salty-tasting skin
  • Chronic coughing
  • Poor growth rate in children

People are born with cystic fibrosis, and the disease tends to get worse as a person matures.


This common lung disease is an infection of the air sacs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The most common symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Chills

Most people recover after two or three weeks, but pneumonia can be a life-threatening condition for others.  

Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion refers to fluid buildup in the space between the chest wall and the lung. The fluid can collect there because of cancer, congestive heart failure, or pneumonia. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and chest discomfort. 

Recognize the Symptoms

Catching a lung condition early can give you the best chance at managing the disease, and in some cases, recovering from it. By knowing the symptoms and what puts you at risk, you can help prevent lung illnesses from getting worse.This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for hair, also Stem cell treatment for COPD. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.