Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (CLRD)

Chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRDs) are diseases that affect the lungs. There are three major CLRDs namely as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. All these diseases are characterized by shortness of breath caused by airway obstruction.

Most chronic lower respiratory diseases are caused by tobacco smoking. Tobacco smoke affects the lungs in several ways. It increases mucus production while at the same time inhibiting cilia from working properly giving way for mucus and the contaminant it contain to buildup. The smoke also attracts inflammatory cells into the lungs. Other environmental exposures such as chemicals, dust and outdoor pollution do also contribute but lesser to CLRDs compared to Tobacco.

Research has shown that older people are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic lower respiratory diseases. Besides, men are also more likely to have CLRD than women.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is symbol by a productive cough that occurs almost daily in anytime and anywhere. It’s also characterized by continuously inflammation and damaging of the bronchial tubes. As the result of the inflammation, it then causes puffiness of bronchial walls and produce of too much mucus.

Chronic bronchitis is mostly triggered by bacterial or viral infections and in some cases by excessive cigarette smoking. Those who expose themselves to irritants like fumes, dust or any other specified pollutants are also likely to trigger chronic bronchitis.

Most people suffer chronic bronchitis without noticing. They seek treatment when the illness has get into a dangerous level where the lungs might already been wounded. There are cases that the lung damage leads to the pulmonary hypertension, subsequently the pulmonary hypertension leads to right side of the heart getting failure due to the increased of workload on the right ventricles.


Emphysema is a disease that the patient encounter an abnormal expansion of the airspace at the end of his bronchioles, this normally is associated with the damage of the bronchioles walls. The main causes for Emphysema are smoking and an inherent form known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Alpha –1 antitrypsin is a protein that inhibits enzyme elastase to destroy elastin which is the material that forms the underlying structure for our lungs giving the alveoli or the air sacs, their crucial ability to recoil and stretch after filling with air. If the elastin is damaged, air sacs walls breaks down to form large and permanent swollen air sacs. This condition forces those who suffer the illness to forcefully expel air from their lungs, putting pressure on the airways from the outside, and bring more negative impacts to both of the alveoli and the airway.

Emphysema is characterized by shortness of breath or dyspnea, continuous coughs. As the condition develops, even a short jog can result to breathing difficulties.


Asthma is a chronic and reversible obstructive disease that happen on lung. It is caused by hyper-reactivity of our airways to various of stimulus. An asthma attack is characterized by inflated and swollen bronchi. This happens when the muscles surrounding the airways is getting tighten, this will narrow down the airways and cause the patient hardly to breath. With asthma, exhaling is a big problem as the air is trapped in the lungs, unlike the case of inhaling where breathing is actually cause the airways to expand and allow the air to slide past the blockages.

Symptoms or signs for an asthma attack are coughing, wheezing, dyspnea rapid breathing and the chest always feel uncomfortable.

The triggers for asthma are quite a number, namely as cold weather, emotional stress, cigarette smoke, chemical irritant, physical exertion, allergens etc. However, the good news is asthma attacks can actually be treated, a person who is suffering asthma attacks may consume specified medicines and undergoing specified treatments in order to own back the normal breathing life.