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Respiratory conditions

Respiratory conditions

Respiratory conditions affect our lungs and respiratory (breathing) system.

We take around 17,000 breaths each day through our respiratory system – made up of the nose and mouth, windpipe and two tubes that connect the windpipe to each lung. The lungs are vital for supplying oxygen to our organs.

Common respiratory conditions including asthma and bronchitis vary a lot in severity. Respiratory diseases like cystic fibrosis and lung cancer are usually more serious and affect 1 in 5 people. Hospital admissions for respiratory conditions double in number in winter.

A GP can direct you towards treatments and therapies to help manage your respiratory symptoms.

Asbestosis is a rare, long-term lung condition caused by asbestos exposure.
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Asthma is a lung condition that causes inflammation and swelling of the airways inside the lungs. This restricts airflow into and out of the lungs causing symptoms such as a cough or wheeze.
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Bronchitis is an infection of the lungs' airways (bronchi) and is usually caused by a virus.
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Cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. It is a disease that's inherited and worsens over time.
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Pleurisy causes sharp chest pains due to inflammation of the tissue between the lungs and ribcage, called the pleura.
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Pneumonia is a type of severe chest infection that makes it difficult to breathe.
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Pulmonary embolism
A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the lung’s arteries, usually caused by a blood clot from a deep vein thrombosis.
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Pulmonary fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a serious lung condition that makes breathing difficult due to scarring on the lungs.
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Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread from one person to the next. When someone infected with TB coughs or sneezes tiny droplets are released into the air which can then be inhaled by someone else. TB mostly affects the lungs, but other areas of the body, including the tummy, glands and nervous system can be affected.
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Pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries that carry blood from your heart to your lungs.
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly referred to as COPD, is a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.
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Myasthenia gravis
Myasthenia gravis is a rare, chronic (long-term) condition that causes weakness in the muscles
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