• Anatomy of the Lungs
    Your lungs are a pair of organs that are part of your respiratory system. They bring oxygen into your body. And they rid your body of carbon dioxide, a waste product your cells create. Let's take a minute to learn about these organs.
  • Asthma
    Asthma is a long-term lung disease. It causes your airways to swell and narrow. This makes breathing difficult. Asthma often begins in childhood, but people of all ages can have asthma.
  • Asthma in Children
    Asthma is a chronic lung disease. It is common in children. Children with asthma have trouble breathing. This happens when their airways become irritated and swollen. Many children who have asthma begin showing symptoms by age five.
  • Asthma Triggers
    "Asthma is a lung disease that can make your breathing difficult. The symptoms of asthma can worsen when you are exposed to certain things in the environment. These are called asthma triggers, and they can vary from person to person. "
  • Bronchitis
    This is an inflammation of your airways. It can involve your windpipe and your bronchi. These are the passageways that carry air into and out of your lungs. For some people, bronchitis can become a chronic problem.
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    This is a life-threatening condition. It happens when you breathe in too much carbon monoxide. That's a gas that you can't see, smell or taste. As you breathe it in, it builds up in your bloodstream. It takes the place of oxygen, and is carried to all the cells of your body. These cells don't get the oxygen they need. Soon, they stop working and die.
  • Carcinoid Tumors of the Lung
    This type of cancer is a slow-growing tumor. It forms in the walls of the large airways near the center of the lungs, or in the smaller airways near the lungs' outer edges. Carcinoid tumors are less common than many other forms of cancer. Some carcinoid tumors can spread from the lungs to other parts of the body.
  • Chest Pain
    Do you have an uncomfortable feeling in your chest? Do you feel sharp or dull pain, or crushing or burning sensations? Do you feel vague discomfort? Let's look at the wide range of problems that can cause chest pain.
  • Collapsed Lung (Atelectasis)
    This happens when air sacs in your lung deflate, either partially or completely. They can't fill with air. They may fill with fluid. This can happen to air sacs in just one section of your lung (which we call a "lobe"). Or, the entire lung can collapse.
  • Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax)
    This happens when a pocket of air builds up in the space between your chest wall and one of your lungs. The air pocket presses and forces air out of your lung. And when you try to breathe in, your lung has no room to hold the air. It has collapsed.
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
    This is a disease of the lungs. It usually involves two lung conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD makes breathing difficult. It can interfere with your ability to be active. This disease gets worse over time, but it can be managed.
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
    This is a disease that affects your mucus and sweat glands. It causes the mucus your body produces to be thick and sticky. In your lungs, sticky mucus can clog your airways. This makes it hard for you to breathe. It also provides a place for bacteria to grow. That can lead to frequent lung infections.
  • Emphysema
    This is a chronic and progressive disease of your lungs. It involves the tiny air sacs, called "alveoli", at the ends of the air passages in your lungs. In healthy lungs, these sacs inflate and deflate as you breathe. But with emphysema, the walls of these sacs break down. The sacs begin to rupture. This interferes with your lungs' ability to cycle air properly.
  • Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
    This is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is a fine powder that comes from trees, grass and weeds. Different people are allergic to different types of pollen, and they react to it in different ways. Hay fever can be a real nuisance.
  • Hiccups
    We've all had hiccups. They can be funny, and aren't usually a sign of anything serious. But what causes them? Why do we get hiccups, and how can we get rid of them?
  • Human Coronaviruses
    This is a group of viruses that infect your respiratory tract. Most people will be infected with a coronavirus at least once in their lifetime. Usually, symptoms are mild or moderate, and may seem like those of a common cold. But some coronaviruses can be very dangerous.
  • Legionnaires' Disease
    This severe lung infection is a form of pneumonia. It's more common in older adults. It's more common in smokers, and in people who have a weakened immune system.
  • Lung Cancer
    This is an abnormal growth of lung tissue cells. It can affect one or both of your lungs. In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women.
  • Mesothelioma
    This is a cancer that forms in the mesothelium. That's a thin layer of tissue around many of your organs. Most often, this cancer affects the tissue around your lungs. But it can form in other places. It can develop in the tissue that lines the heart, abdomen or testicles.
  • Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP)
    This is a serious infection of the lungs. It's caused by a fungus called "Pneumocystis jirovecii." If you're healthy, you may have this fungus in your lungs and not even know it. But if you have a weakened immune system, it makes you very sick. It can be deadly.
  • Postoperative Pneumonia
    Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. When you get it after surgery, we call it "postoperative pneumonia." It can be especially hard to fight off pneumonia when your body is healing from surgery. It can make your hospital stay much longer than expected. For some patients, it can be deadly.
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
    This is a clog in an artery in your lung. It can happen suddenly, even in a healthy person. It's a serious medical condition that can be fatal.
  • Respiratory Failure
    When you breathe, your blood takes in oxygen. And it gets rid of a waste gas called "carbon dioxide." When you have respiratory failure, this process isn't working like it should. You may not get enough oxygen to meet your body's needs. You may not remove enough carbon dioxide from your blood. Or, you may have both problems.
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
    This is a virus that infects the lungs and airways. For most people an infection isn't dangerous. But for babies, the elderly, and for people who have a weakened immune system, infections can be severe.
  • Rib Fracture
    This is a break of one of the thin, curved bones that protects your chest cavity. Your ribs connect to each other with layers of muscles. They attach to your spine. With a minor fracture, your rib may only be cracked. With a severe fracture, you may have a complete break. Your rib may shift out of place.
  • Shortness of Breath
    Sometimes you find yourself fighting for air. No matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get enough. It's scary. It leaves you feeling worried and uneasy. How does this happen? Well, it's usually linked to a problem with your lungs or your heart.
  • Tuberculosis
    This disease, most commonly a problem among people who live in developing countries, is a bacterial infection that usually attacks the lungs. It can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, spinal cord and kidneys. A full-blown, active case of tuberculosis can be deadly.
  • Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
    This condition, commonly called "VTE," occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep within your body. This can happen in your leg, or in another part of your body. The clot travels through your circulatory system. When it reaches your lungs, it blocks an artery within them. This prevents oxygenation of your blood. This is a pulmonary embolism. It can be fatal.
  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
    This is an infection of the lining of your airways. It is highly contagious. It is most common in young children who have not been fully vaccinated and in people who have not received booster shots.