Lung disease

Definition

Lung disease is any disease or disorder where lung function is impaired. There are three major physiologic categories of lung diseases:

  1. Obstructive lung disease - a decrease in the exhaled air flow caused by a narrowing or blockage of the airways, such as with asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.
  2. Restrictive lung disease - a decrease in the total volume of air that the lungs are able to hold. Often, this is due to a decrease in the elasticity of the lungs themselves or caused by a problem related to the expansion of the chest wall during inhalation.
  3. A defect in the ability of the lung’s air sac tissue to move oxygen into a person’s blood.

Most lung diseases actually involve a combination of these categories, such as emphysema, which involves both airflow obstruction and oxygenation problems.

Major lung diseases include:

Other lung diseases include:

This list is not complete. There are other lung diseases and disorders.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by Potos A. Aagen, M.D.

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