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What happens to the lungs with obstructive lung disease?

In some forms of obstructive lung disease such as cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis, the airways to the lungs become blocked, making it difficult to breathe. This happens because of inflammation and a buildup of mucus in the airways. The body then becomes deprived of oxygen, which causes damage to the lungs and blood cells. In asthma, the lining of the air passages becomes swollen and the muscles surrounding the airways become tight, preventing proper inhalation. In emphysema, the walls of the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs are destroyed.

Continue Learning about Obstructive Lung Diseases

Is obstructive lung disease serious?
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Obstructive lung disease is a serious illness. It can cause long-term health complications and perma...
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Who is most at risk for obstructive lung disease?
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Since smoking cigarettes is the main factor in the development of obstructive lung disease, smokers ...
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How do I care for someone with obstructive lung disease?
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When caring for someone with obstructive lung disease, remember to offer both emotional and physical...
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When does obstructive lung disease begin to develop?
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Obstructive lung disease usually begins developing in the mid 40s. The first symptom is usually mild...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.