We live in a world that is full of pollution, dust particles, dog and cat hair, chemical pollutants like ammonia fumes and a whole range of other harmful substances that make living worse. Every day, we run into people who encounter difficulty in breathing, because of an irritation caused by one of these irritants, compounded by the extremely busy lifestyle that we lead, leaving us with no time to rest and relax. All such ailments come under the title of lung inflammation or irritation inside the lungs, which leads to difficulty in breathing and chest pain. Read on to know what inflammation of lungs is, what causes it and how it is cured or treated.
What Is Lung Inflammation?
The inner lining of the lungs is known as pleura. When something irritates it, one feels a sharp pain in the chest. This phenomenon, known as pleurisy, is commonly known as the inflammation of lungs and can cause pain and even difficulty in breathing, in some cases. Many a times, it is accompanied by a moist or dry cough, frequent full pulse and other symptoms that may be akin to an inflammatory fever. There are mainly two kinds of lung inflammation - dry and wet, with the latter of the two found troubling people more than the former.
Wet lung inflammation is due to a collection of excess fluid in the lungs. This accumulation could be due to various infections - viral, parasitic or bacterial. It may cause pain and extreme difficulty in breathing. The dry inflammation, on the other hand, may be caused by one layer of pleura rubbing against the other. We must understand that the pleura are composed of an inner layer that surrounds the lungs and an outer layer, which lines the chest cavity. These pleural membranes are quite thin and very close together. A fluid coating sits in the narrow space between the two layers. When this layer of fluid thins down, the two layers will rub against each other and cause pain and discomfort.
What Causes Inflammation Of the Lungs?
There are many causes behind inflammation of lungs. The doctors have in fact, named at least a hundred and eighty different causes for it. These causes range from physiological - like in case of pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma (even bronchial asthma), lung fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and so on - to the inflammation caused by certain irritants and some chemical substances - for instance wood splinters, tobacco, sugarcane dust, hay or chemicals like phosgene, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, varnish, formalin vapours and other such strong chemicals.
Treatment For Lung Inflammation
The doctors prescribe many different ways to cure the inflammation of lungs, depending on the condition of the patient, the type of inflammation and the reasons behind it. Here are some ways in which lung inflammation can be treated:
This course of treatment is often employed when inflammation in the lungs is the result of an infection. Antibiotics will eliminate the root cause of inflammation. The kind and the dosage of these antibiotics will be based on the specific condition and the patient’s medical history.
Inhalers are mostly given to those who suffer from allergic reactions, like bronchitis, bronchial asthma and asthma, which are caused due to a faulty immune system, rather than other issues. In such cases, there is no guarantee that the infection will be completely cured or will not occur again.
There are times when lung inflammation becomes worse by constant coughing, caused by fluid and mucus build up in the lungs. If the patient is unable to rid the lungs of this fluid and mucus on his own, the doctor may recommend that the fluid be drained from the lungs with the help of a machine.