The physicians of Respiratory Consultants of Houston, PA offer high quality medical services for a full spectrum of pulmonary conditions. Some of the conditions we offer diagnosis and treatment for are explained below. This list of pulmonary conditions is not all-inclusive of the conditions we treat.

ASTHMA
Asthma is a condition in which the bronchial tubes in the lungs react to different stimuli by becoming inflamed. These asthma triggers vary and may include exercise, cold air, allergens (such as dust, ragweed, mold, or cat dander), infections, and emotional reactions. Inflammation of the bronchial airways causes them to become constricted and narrowed. This narrowing of the airways, called bronchoconstriction, produces the symptoms: shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing.
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CHRONIC COUGH
One survey of internists demonstrated that cough is the third most common reason for an office visit. Cough can be acute or chronic. The most common cause of acute cough is an acute respiratory infection. Chronic cough is defined as a cough persisting for more than 3 weeks. A chronic cough can lead to a significant reduction in one's sense of well-being and quality of life. Complications such as insomnia, hoarseness, headache, dizziness, exacerbations of asthma, urinary incontinence, rupture of nasal, anal, and subconjuctival veins, disruption of surgical wounds, and rib fractures may result. More importantly, a chronic cough may be a signal that a significant health problem exists.
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COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is characterized by abnormalities in the lungs that make it difficult to exhale normally. Generally, two distinct diseases are involved: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis cause excessive inflammatory processes that eventually lead to abnormalities in lung structure that permanently obstruct airflow (hence the term "chronic obstructive"). Symptoms include shortness of breath (dyspnea), wheezing, chronic cough, barrel chest, and pursed-lip breathing (see Symptoms). Asthma is usually reversible, but some asthmatics have permanently narrowed airways and suffer COPD.
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CYSTIC FIBROSIS
A congenital metabolic disorder in which secretions of exocrine glands are abnormal; excessively viscid mucus causes obstruction of passageways (including pancreatic and bile ducts, intestines, and bronchi), and the sodium and chloride content of sweat are increased throughout the patient's life; symptoms usually appear in childhood and include meconium ileus, poor growth despite good appetite, malabsorption and foul bulky stools, chronic bronchitis with cough, recurrent pneumonia, bronchiectasis, emphysema, clubbing of the fingers, and salt depletion in hot weather. Detailed genetic mapping and molecular biology have been accomplished by the methods of reverse genetics; autosomal recessive inheritance, caused by mutation in the cystic fibrosis conductance regulator gene.
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HEMOPTYSIS
Hemoptysis refers specifically to blood that comes from the respiratory tract. Often when a person spits up blood, however, it has come from somewhere else - the nose, the back of the throat, or part of the gastrointestinal tract. When blood originates outside of the respiratory tract, the spitting is commonly known as "pseudohemoptysis." Vomiting up blood, medically known as hematemesis, is one type of pseudohemoptysis. Differentiating between hemoptysis and hematemesis is an integral part of diagnosis. Since they involve different parts of the body, the prognoses (the prospect of recovery) and treatments are radically different.
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LUNG CANCER
Lung cancer is a disease caused by the rapid growth and division of cells that make up the lungs. Lung cancer is sometimes called "bronchogenic cancer," or it may be described by its particular histologic type, that is the type of tissue that is diseased. Under normal circumstances, lung cells reproduce in an orderly fashion to maintain tissue health and to repair injuries. However, when growth control is lost and cells divide too much and too fast, a cellular mass - or tumor - is formed. If the tumor is confined to a few cell layers (for example, surface cells) and it does not invade surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered benign. By contrast, if the tumor spreads to surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered malignant, or cancerous. If cancerous cells break away from the original tumor, travel, and grow within other body parts- such as the brain, bone, liver, adrenal glands, the opposite lung, or lymph nodes of the chest or collarbone (clavicle) regions - the process is known as metastasis.
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PLEURAL EFFUSION
Pleural Effusion is a disorder in which fluid has built-up in the lining of the lungs. The classic symptom for pleural effusion is a sharp pain in the chest that is worsened by taking a deep breath. Shortness of breath, cough, hiccups, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, and joint stiffness are other common symptoms. Causes for build-up of fluid in the lining of the lungs include infection, pneumonia, heart failure, malignancy, and kidney disease.
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SARCOIDOSIS
Sarcoidosis is a disease that affects many organ systems, most commonly the lungs and the lymph nodes of the chest. The disease typically resolves by itself within a couple of years, but in approximately one out of ten cases, Sarcoidosis progresses to the point where fibrosis (scarring of tissue), occurs. When this happens in the lungs, it can produce chronic cough and shortness of breath. In cases where the scarring affects the heart muscle, heart failure may occur. Other common symptoms of Sarcoidosis include enlargement of lymph nodes and development of skin leisons.
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SLEEP APNEA
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which breathing stops during sleep for 10 seconds or more, sometimes more than 300 times a night. The hallmark of the disorder is excessive daytime sleepiness and compromised quality of life, including significant social and emotional problems. There are two main types of sleep apnea. "Obstructive sleep apnea" may represent cessation of breathing due to mechanical blockage of the airway; "central sleep apnea" appears to be related to a malfunction of the brain's normal signal to breathe. Symptoms of sleep apnea may include restless sleep, loud, heavy snoring (often interrupted by silence and then gasps), falling asleep while driving and/or during the day (at work, watching TV, etc.), morning headaches, loss of energy, trouble concentrating, irritability, forgetfulness, mood or behavior changes, anxiety or depression, obesity, and decreased interest in sex. Not all people with sleep apnea experience all of these symptoms and not everyone who has these symptoms has sleep apnea.
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SOLITARY PULMONARY NODULE
A solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) is a small, round or egg-shaped lesion (abnormal tissue) in the lungs. SPNs are typically asymptomatic, and they are usually noticed by chance on a chest x-ray that has been done for another reason. They are usually less than 3-4 cm in diameter (no larger than 6 cm) and are always surrounded by normal, functioning lung tissue.
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TUBERCULOSIS
A specific disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the tubercle bacillus, which can affect almost any tissue or organ of the body, the most common seat of the disease being the lungs. Primary tuberculosis is typically a mild or asymptomatic local pulmonary infection. Regional lymph nodes may become involved, but in otherwise healthy people generalized disease does not immediately develop.
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