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 subconjunctival 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.
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.
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 lesions.
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.
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus, causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia.
Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from deep veins in the legs or, rarely, from veins in other parts of the body.
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.
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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