Lungs play a vital role in the process of respiration, and any kind of pulmonary disease impacts our lungs, which can affect our physical well-being, our lifestyle, and even our work. Perhaps the worst thing about pulmonary diseases is the fact that they can be caused by even the air that we breathe.
Two of the major causes of pulmonary diseases are: smoking, even passive smoking can be equally harmful; air pollution especially when the air contains asbestos and radon. Genetics too play a major role when it comes to pulmonary diseases.
Pulmonary diseases become very obvious very soon. Since they affect the respiratory system the breathing becomes heavier and noisy, sometimes mucus is produced, and in extreme cases, the patient tends to cough up blood.
Since the impact of the pulmonary disease is manifold, it is easier to comprehend the intensity and extensity of its effect if we categorise it.
The financial aspect—Treating diseases is expensive, and pulmonary diseases, even more so. Moreover, what makes things worse is the fact that some of the pulmonary diseases tend to be chronic, which means regular medication, check-ups, and care, all of which add-on to the financial burden.
Job-life—Pulmonary diseases, affect the respiratory system directly, and are, therefore, highly debilitating, since the patient cannot undertake physically strenuous activities. If chronic, these diseases interfere with one’s ability to work and hamper his productivity, which leads to loss of wages, and in extreme cases, the loss of job itself.
Physical impact—Since pulmonary diseases impact our lungs, and destroys the lung tissues, the amount of oxygen in our body gets reduced considerably. This also results in an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in our body.
- Since the body isn’t getting enough oxygen, the body gets fatigued faster, and the patient tends to run out of breath very efficiently.
- Getting exhausted very quickly and running out of breath frequently restricts the patient’s ability to work, do household chores, engage in social activities, and even sleep.
- A weak lung also gives rise to other health problems such as strokes, heart attack, lung cancer, etc. Since the lack of oxygen weaken not only the cardiovascular muscles, but also the nervous system, and the lack of oxygen also corrodes the brain tissues.
- High carbon dioxide content in the blood leads to the deterioration of muscle tissues, inflammation, and muscle dysfunction.
- Increased breathing rate also impacts the body metabolism which leads to excessive weight loss, and lack of nutrition.
- Pulmonary diseases also affect the body’s immunity system which makes the body prone to infections such as pneumonia, or flu.
Psychological impact—Pulmonary diseases by affecting the ability to breathe impact the daily life immensely. Since even simple jobs such as getting the mail, or changing out of clothes become difficult due to these diseases, it has a debilitating impact on our mental health.
- The lack of oxygen causes disturbed sleep or sleeplessness, and fatigue which can lead to depression.
- The inability to breathe can be, sometimes, fearsome. Since the body and the brain are aware of the low percentage of oxygen in the blood, they are always on edge, and panic-stricken since there is a high probability of suffocation. This causes the patient to become anxious, and anxiety sometimes leads to breathlessness, trapping the patient in a vicious circle.
- The pulmonary diseases also impact your ability to accomplish merely everyday activities. It makes the patient feel less than what he is. This, over the time, may also lead to depression.
- The patients suffering from pulmonary diseases are also compelled to give up social activities, which also lead to depression.
- Excessive dependence on family and friends increases the sense of helplessness, which may also cause distress.
- Patients suffering from pulmonary diseases may also have PTSD. Moments of breathlessness can be traumatising, and this trauma tends to scar the psyche of the patient. So even the slightest chance of becoming breathless can send the patient over the edge.
Pulmonary diseases have ripple effects which impact the friends and the family of the patient as well. The mental and physical condition of the patient directly impacts the family; as a result, the family dynamics get affected as well.
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