AirPhysio Mesothelioma Abestosis

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

What is Malignant Mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that starts in the mesothelium, the 505278-Asbestosis X-Raythin protective lining that covers the lungs, the heart, the abdomen and the sac that surrounds the testis.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and serious cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It takes 20 to 50 years to develop and occurs in the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium caused by asbestos exposure. The mesothelium is a thin membrane that protects and lubricates different body cavities, such as the chest and abdominal cavities.

What are the types of mesothelioma?

There are four types of mesothelioma:  Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen), pericardial mesothelioma (heart), testicular mesothelioma (testis) and pleural mesothelioma (lungs).  Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type and represents about three-quarters of all mesothelioma incidence.  Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second-most prevalent while the pericardial and testicular mesotheliomas are the rarest forms and account for less than 2% of the mesothelioma cases.

Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs)

Cancer of the mesothelium in the lungs is known as pleural mesothelioma. It accounts for 3 out of 4 mesothelioma diagnoses because most asbestos fibers are inhaled, lodging into the lining of the lungs.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen)

Cancer of the mesothelium surrounding the abdomen is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. It is caused by ingesting asbestos fibers and accounts for about 20 percent of all diagnoses.

Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)

Cancer of the mesothelium surrounding the heart is known as pericardial mesothelioma. This is the rarest form of mesothelioma and is rarely diagnosed while the patient is still alive.

Testicular Mesothelioma (Testis)

Testicular mesothelioma is a cancer of the membrane lining that covers the testicles. This rare disease, also known as mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis, accounts for less than 1 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Testicular mesothelioma occurs when mutated cells in the lining surrounding the testicle begin replicating uncontrollably.

mesotheliomaWhat Causes Mesothelioma?

The primary cause of mesothelioma is prolonged exposure to asbestos.  Inhalation and ingestion of asbestos fibers can cause pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas, respectively.  However, there is not any conclusive evidence linking asbestos exposure to pericardial and testicular mesotheliomas.In rare cases of individuals without any known exposure to asbestos and have developed mesothelioma, this disease can be caused by irradiation of the chest or abdomen and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite or talc.

 

What are the Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is difficult to distinguish from other types of lung diseases.  Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop and the signs and symptoms may appear when the disease has progressed into a later stage, usually about 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.  Furthermore, the early signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can be so mild that they are mistaken for common illnesses.  By the time mesothelioma is diagnosed, the cancer has already spread, making it difficult to treat.

The common warning signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Dry cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pleural or peritoneal effusion (accumulation of fluid)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss

People who have pleural mesothelioma often complain of chest pain and shortness of breath.  Additional symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include difficulty swallowing, a persistent cough, fever, weight loss, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of sensory capability, hemoptysis or coughing up blood, facial and arm swelling, and hoarseness.

How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

People with mesothelioma are often misdiagnosed with less-serious illnesses like pneumonia, bronchial infection and COPD or a different type of cancer.  The misdiagnosis is frequently made because of the rarity of mesothelioma and it does not come to the minds of many physicians who are not trained to deal with this disease.

 

The steps the doctors will take in evaluating an asbestos-related disease is first to obtain a full medical history, followed by some standard physical examinations.  They would ask where the asbestos exposure occurred and for how long and also the amount of asbestos one was exposed to.  Imaging scans are then recommended by doctors to identify any abnormal growths.  If a suspicious mass that looks like a mesothelioma appears on those tests, the doctors will request a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

 

Over the last few years, blood tests have been studied for its role in diagnosing mesothelioma.  Blood tests are being used in analyzing proteins and other substances (biomarkers) that are present in mesothelioma patients.

What is the Prognosis with Mesothelioma?

Every case is different and cancer can be unpredictable.  The prognosis mostly depends on the stage and the type of cancer that one has.  Malignant mesothelioma is extremely aggressive and is usually detected in the advanced stage of the disease.  Therefore, the prognosis for patients with mesothelioma is often not favorable.

 

Although the prognosis varies greatly for each patient, younger patients appear to have the most positive prognosis.  The American Cancer Society (ACS) noted that out of the 2,959 patients they studied, nearly 37 percent of mesothelioma patients younger than 45 years old survived for more than five years after diagnosis.  The mesothelioma survival rate following diagnosis is usually just a year or two.

What are the treatment options for mesothelioma patients?

The treatment of malignant mesothelioma continues to be a challenge for the medical community.  The rareness of the cancer makes it difficult to conduct the studies needed to formulate the ideal therapy for each stage of the disease.  As there is no reliable cure for mesothelioma, the treatment primarily aims to reduce pain and suffering and prolong the patients’ life as long as possible while providing them with the highest quality of life possible.

 

The first most important step in planning for treatment is choosing the right mesothelioma doctor.  There are several mesothelioma doctors practicing across the world and if you were diagnosed with mesothelioma by your primary physician, he will likely refer you to an oncologist that specializes in mesothelioma care.

 

There are four types of mesothelioma treatments:  Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and multimodal therapy.  The type of therapy you will receive will depend on the cancer stage, primary site affected and your overall health.  A combination of radiation, surgery and chemotherapy will likely be offered to you if the cancer has not yet metastasized. This combination is called a multimodal approach.

 

If the mesothelioma already has spread significantly, your options will be more palliative in nature.  In a palliative setting, your symptoms will be treated to reduce pain and improve your quality of life for as long as possible. You are still likely to be offered radiation and chemotherapy, but probably not major surgery options.  Medication for pain, difficulty breathing and other symptoms is a mainstay, as well as emotional and spiritual support for you and your family.  Alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and meditation may also be helpful.

What are the Mesothelioma Statistics?

Each year, there are 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma in the United States.  Men are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma.  For people older than 60 years of age, the risk of developing the disease is 10 times higher than that of people younger than 40.

What is Asbestosis?

Asbestos refers to the six naturally occurring fibrous minerals—chrysotile, crocidolite, asbestosisamosite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite.  Asbestos was widely used in building construction and many other industries because of its extremely durable and fire-resistant properties.  It was first used as an insulating material in 1866 and became commercially available in early 1870s.  The use of asbestos was banned in 1970s when it was discovered that asbestos fibers, when released into the air and inhaled, could cause serious diseases.  These diseases include, but not limited to, mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques.  Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases.In the past, asbestos exposures occurred largely to miners and mill workers, as well as to those who lived in an asbestos-contaminated environment where mining or road construction was taking place.  Family members were indirectly exposed to asbestos by workers going home covered in asbestos dust.  Today, most asbestos exposures are associated with repair, restoration or removal of buildings built during the time the asbestos was a very prevalent building material, as well as with natural disasters causing erosion of asbestos-bearing rocks.

How Does Asbestos Cause Cancer?

Asbestos fibers are insoluble, jagged and glasslike in appearance.  Once inhaled, they attach to the lung tissues and irritate the tissues causing lesions.  An immune system response to the lesions is triggered and the repeated cell damage followed by DNA repair or mutations can result in cell death, scar formation and transformation to malignancy.Keep in mind that asbestos has to be released into the air and inhaled or ingested to cause damage to individuals.  Asbestos is not a problem if it remains solid and not disturbed.

Mesothelioma Support in the United States

Being diagnosed with Mesothelioma is a life changing experience that throws the victims into a whirlwind of emotions and daunting questions. How will the treatments get paid? Who is the best doctor to go to? How do I come to terms with this?

Mesothelioma.net is a resource support center offering a variety of options to help victims with their Mesothelioma. Whether it is finding a place to live during treatments, taking up therapeutic counseling, or just needing questions answered about your diagnosis, Mesothelioma.net is there to make sure you’re taken care of.

Mesothelioma.net has gone above and beyond to make sure its patients are heard and supported during these difficult times. They make sure the victims are well provided with financial and emotional support during their treatments.

Mesothelioma is a terrifying prospect to accept. So Mesothelioma.net offers a service to help people with this debilitating condition.

For further details on support, simply visit –
https://mesothelioma.net/mesothelioma-support/

For more information about atelectasis, please refer to the following web pages and articles: 
http://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/mesothelioma/

Pleural Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Pericardial Mesothelioma

http://www.asbestos.com/asbestosis/

http://www.asbestos.com/states/

http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/symptoms/

http://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/symptoms.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesothelioma

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignantmesothelioma/detailedguide/malignant-mesothelioma-survival-statistics

AirPhysio Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Emphysema

Emphysema – Condition and Treatments

Emphysema is a lung condition in which tiny air sacs in the lungs – alveoli – fill up with air. As the air continues to build up in these sacs, they expand, and may break or become damaged and form scar tissue. The patient becomes progressively short of breath.

Emphysema is a type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

The main cause of emphysema is long-term regular smoking.

Symptoms of Emphysema

The symptoms of emphysema include:

  • Breathlessness with exertion, and eventually breathlessness all the time in advanced disease
  • Susceptibility to chest infections
  • Cough and phlegm production
  • Fatigue
  • Barrel-shaped chest (from expansion of the rib cage in order to accommodate enlarged lungs)
  • Cyanosis (a blue tinge to the skin) due to lack of oxygen.

Treatment for Emphysema

There is no cure for emphysema, although it is treatable. Appropriate management has been shown to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and help people stay out of hospital.

Management includes:

  • Smoking cessation (immediate and complete smoking cessation is the most effective treatment for COPD and emphysema) and avoidance of other air pollutants
  • Respiratory (pulmonary) rehabilitation programs
  • Oxygen treatment, in advanced cases
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, medicine to widen the airways (bronchodilators) and loosen the phlegm, and antibiotics
  • Stress management techniques
  • Gentle, regular exercise to improve overall fitness
  • Influenza vaccination (yearly) and pneumococcal vaccination to protect against certain types of respiratory infection.

Changes to Lifestyle to assist in the management of Emphysema

A person with COPD needs to make a number of important lifestyle changes including:

Quit smoking – techniques can include ‘cold turkey’, counselling, nicotine replacement therapy and medications that work on brain receptors. Evidence shows that counselling, together with medical therapy, is most effective.

Increase Physical Activity – try to be as physically active as possible. If possible, attend pulmonary rehabilitation, similar to using the AirPhysio device.

COPD Action Plan – Follow a COPD action plan.

Change Diet – Eat a healthy diet and try to avoid foods with possible irritants as mentioned in the Asthma article.

Plenty of Rest – Make adjustments to your lifestyle and home environment to ensure plenty of rest.

Improve Hydration – Keep adequately hydrated to help keep the mucus in your lungs runny and easier to cough up.

Avoid Irritants – Avoid smoky, dusty, pollen or environments with other irritants.

Join a support group – call Lung Foundation Australia (Tel. 1800 654 301) for information on a support group close to you.

How Does AirPhysio Help Emphysema?

By using the AirPhysio device to clean the airway and condition the lungs, this will assist in the recovery process or maintenance of Emphysema.

AirPhysio assists in 2 distinct ways:

1.   Firstly the clearance process of AirPhysio assists to clear any blockage or build-up of excess mucus through the 2 stage mobilization and elimination method.

2.   Secondly, the vibration or flutter effect of the AirPhysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway and assists to improve lung capacity through a physio therapy method of exercising the lungs, similar to exercise.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis (SIS-tik fi-BRO-sis), or CF, also known as mucoviscidosis, is an inherited disease of the secretory glands. Secretory glands include glands that make mucus and sweat. Although it mainly affects mostly the lungs, it also the pancreasliverkidneysintestines, sinuses, and sex. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up sputum as a result of frequent lung infections.

 

Other symptoms include sinus infectionspoor growthfatty stoolclubbing of the finger and toes, and infertility in males among others.

Different people may have different degrees of symptoms.

 

These secreted fluids are normally thin and slippery. But in cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes the secretions to become thick and sticky. Instead of acting as a lubricant, the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, especially in the lungs and pancreas.

 

Although Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system, recent improvements in screening and treatments mean most people with cystic fibrosis now live into their 20s and 30s, and some are living into their 40s and 50s.

​​Lack of Cures for Cystic Fibrosis

There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. Lung infections are treated with antibiotics which may be given intravenously, inhaled, or by mouth. Sometimes the antibiotic azithromycin is used long term. Inhaled hypertonic saline and salbutamol may also be useful.
Lung transplantation may be an option if lung function continues to worsen. Pancreatic enzyme replacement and fat soluble vitamin supplementation are important, especially in the young. While not well supported by evidence, many people use airway clearance techniques such as chest physiotherapy.

The average life expectancy is between 37 and 50 years in the developed world. Lung problems are responsible for death in 80% of people.

Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis

Treatment for CF can be intensive and time consuming. At present, there is no cure for CF. Treatment aims to slow progression of the condition and includes:

  • Chest physiotherapy
  • Antibiotics
  • Inhalations via a compressed air pump and nebuliser
  • Enzyme replacement capsules with meals and snacks
  • Well balanced diet high in protein, fat and kilojoules
  • Supplementary vitamins
  • Salt supplements
  • Regular exercise.

Regular attendance at a major CF clinic is beneficial and recommended.

Some Lung Conditions Attributed to CF 

Asthma

– Atelectasis 

– Bronchiectasis 

Bronchitis

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Pneumothorax 

How Does AirPhysio Help Cystic Fibrosis?

By using the AirPhysio device to clean the airway and condition the lungs, this will assist in the clarance of excess mucus and fluid and assists in the maintenance of Cystic Fibrosis.

 

AirPhysio assists in 2 distinct ways:

 

1.   Firstly the clearance process of AirPhysio assists to clear any blockage or build-up of excess mucus through the 2 stage mobilization and elimination method.

 

2.   Secondly, the vibration or flutter effect of the AirPhysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway and assists to improve lung capacity through a physio therapy method of exercising the lungs, similar to exercise.

For more information about Bronchitisplease refer to the following web pages and articles:

 
https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.au/
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Cystic_fibrosis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cystic_fibrosis
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cystic-fibrosis/basics/definition/con-20013731

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cf

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Emphysema Bronchitis and Asthma

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Conditions, Types and Treatments

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a number of lung diseases that prevent proper breathing.
3 of the most common conditions are:
–           Emphysema,
–           Chronic Bronchitis
–           Chronic Asthma
These conditions are not fully reversible, but are manageable if treated correctly.
These conditions can occur separately or together. The main symptoms are breathlessness, chronic cough and sputum production. Cigarette smokers and ex-smokers are most at risk.
Worldwide, COPD affects 329 million people or nearly 5% of the population. In 2013, it resulted in 2.9 million deaths up from 2.4 million deaths in 1990. The number of deaths is projected to increase due to higher smoking rates and an aging population in many countries. It resulted in an estimated economic cost of $2.1 trillion in 2010.

Causes and Risk Factors of COPD

Some of the causes and risk factors of COPD include:
  • Cigarette smoking – the most significant risk factor. Around 20 to 25 per cent of smokers will develop COPD. Ex-smokers remain at risk and should be aware of symptoms of breathlessness.
  • Long-term exposure to lung irritants – such as chemical vapours or dust from grain or wood. Severe air pollution can make COPD worse in smokers.
  • Long Term exposure to Air Pollution – Common air pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sufur Dioxide (SO2) and particle matter (PM10 and PM2.5) can all lead to short and long term effects to the lungs, leading to the degradation of the lungs and development of Chronic Obstructive Disease (COPD).
  • Genes – a genetic disorder known as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency can trigger emphysema, even if no other risk factors are present.

Complications of COPD

A person with COPD is at increased risk of a number of complications, including:
  • Chest infections – a common cold or flu, can easily lead to a severe infection
  • Peumonia – a lung infection that targets the alveoli and bronchioles
  • Collapsed lung – the lung may develop an air pocket. If the air pocket bursts during a coughing fit, the lung will deflate, similar to Atelectasis.
  • Heart problems – the heart has to work extremely hard to pump blood through the lungs to maintain the carbon dioxide/oxygen balance
  • Osteoporosis – where bones become thin and break more easily. Steroid use in people with COPD is thought to contribute to osteoporosis
  • Anxiety and depression – breathlessness or the fear of breathlessness can often lead to feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Oedema (fluid retention) – problems with blood circulation can cause fluid to pool, particularly in the feet and ankles
  • Hypoxaemia – caused by lack of oxygen to the brain. Symptoms include cognitive difficulties such as confusion, memory lapses and depression
  • Risks of sedentary lifestyle – as symptoms of COPD progress, many people adjust their lifestyle to avoid symptoms. For example, they reduce their physical activity to avoid breathlessness. As they reduce their physical activity, they become less fit and even more breathless on exertion. This downward spiral of inactivity means the person is prone to a range of potentially serious health problems, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Changes to Lifestyle to assist in the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

A person with COPD needs to make a number of important lifestyle changes including:

Quit smoking – techniques can include ‘cold turkey’, counselling, nicotine replacement therapy and medications that work on brain receptors. Evidence shows that counselling, together with medical therapy, is most effective.

Increase Physical Activity – try to be as physically active as possible. If possible, attend pulmonary rehabilitation, similar to using the AirPhysio device.

COPD Action Plan – Follow a COPD action plan.

Change Diet – Eat a healthy diet and try to avoid foods with possible irritants as mentioned in the Asthma article.

Plenty of Rest – Make adjustments to your lifestyle and home environment to ensure plenty of rest.

Improve Hydration – Keep adequately hydrated to help keep the mucus in your lungs runny and easier to cough up.

Avoid Irritants – Avoid smoky, dusty, pollen or environments with other irritants.

Join a support group – call Lung Foundation Australia (Tel. 1800 654 301) for information on a support group close to you.

How Does AirPhysio Help Treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

AirPhysio assists in 2 distinct ways:

 1.   Firstly the clearance process of AirPhysio assists to clear any blockage or build-up of excess mucus through the 2 stage mobilization and elimination method.

2.   Secondly, the vibration or flutter effect of the AirPhysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway and assists to improve lung capacity through a physio therapy method of exercising the lungs, similar to exercise.

For more information about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), please refer to the following web pages and articles: 

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Lung_conditions_obstructive_pulmonary_disease
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_obstructive_pulmonary_disease
http://lungfoundation.com.au/health-professionals/clinical-resources/copd/copd-action-plan/​

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi (large and medium-sized airways) of the lungs. Symptoms include coughing up mucuswheezingshortness of breath, and chest discomfort. This condition may start as an infection from a cough, cold or flu and develops into either Acute or Chronic Bronchitis.

As the irritated membrane swells and grows thicker, it narrows or shuts off the tiny airways in the lungs, resulting in coughing spells that may be accompanied by phlegm and breathlessness.
Bronchitis is divided into two types: acute and chronic.
Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis (also known as a chest cold) usually has a cough that lasts around three weeks. In more than 90% of cases the cause is a viral infection.
These viruses may be spread through the air when people cough or by direct contact.
Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts for three months or more per year for at least two years. Most people with chronic bronchitis have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
People with asthma may also have asthmatic bronchitis, inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tube.
If you are a smoker and come down with bronchitis, it will be much harder for you to recover. Every cigarette damages the tiny hair-like structures in your lungs, called cilia, that are responsible for brushing out debris, irritants, and excess mucus.
Risk factors include exposure to:
  • Tobacco and cigarette smoke,
  • Dust, and other
  • Air pollution
  • Other people with viral Bronchitis (bronchitis from dust and air pollution aren’t usually contagious)
  • Bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Bordetella pertussis.
  • Be careful of triggers as shown to the right as they may set off or contribute to the worsening of the Bronchitis condition.
The primary symptom of bronchitis is a cough, but other symptoms may include:
Children with acute bronchitis may have symptoms of:
Treatment of acute bronchitis typically is usually involves rest, hydration and some medicine or methods of clearing the mucus and phlegm from the lungs. For Chronic Bronchitis, it may include hospitalisation and medication to manage the infections and reduce the damage and inflammation.
Changes to assist in the management of Chronic Bronchitis, or also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
A person with Chronic Bronchitis needs to make a number of important lifestyle changes including:
– Quit smoking – techniques can include ‘cold turkey’, counselling, nicotine replacement therapy and medications that work on brain receptors. Evidence shows that counselling, together with medical therapy, is most effective.
– Increase Physical Activity – try to be as physically active as possible. If possible, attend pulmonary rehabilitation, similar to using the Airphysio device.
– COPD Action Plan – Follow a COPD action plan.
– Change Diet – Eat a healthy diet and try to avoid foods with possible irritants as mentioned in the Asthma article.
– Plenty of Rest – Make adjustments to your lifestyle and home environment to ensure plenty of rest.
– Improve Hydration – Keep adequately hydrated to help keep the mucus in your lungs runny and easier to cough up.
– Avoid Irritants – Avoid smoky, dusty, pollen or environments with other irritants.
– Join a support group – call Lung Foundation Australia (Tel. 1800 654 301) for information on a support group close to you.
If left untreated, the mucus build-up from Bronchitis may lead to Atelectasis, which is the partial blockage or closure of part of the lungs.
How Does Airphysio  Help Bronchitis?
By using the Airphysio device to clean the airway and condition the lungs, this will assist in the recovery process or maintenance of Bronchitis.
Airphysio assists in 2 distinct ways:
1.   Firstly the clearance process of Airphysio assists to clear any blockage or build-up of excess mucus through the 2 stage mobilization and elimination method.
2.   Secondly, the vibration or flutter effect of the Airphysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway and assists to improve lung capacity through a physiotherapy method of exercising the lungs, similar to exercise.
For more information about Bronchitisplease refer to the following web pages and articles: 
http://www.webmd.com/lung/understanding-bronchitis-basics
http://www.medicinenet.com/bronchitis_acute/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronchitis

COPD Action Plan

Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis (brong-ke-EK-tah-sis) comes from the Greek words “bronckos” (airway) and “ektasis” (widening).  It is Bronchiectasis_NHLBIthe abnormal widening of the airways in the lungs usually caused by damage to the airway walls. This should never be mistaken for Bronchitis.

 

Bronchiectasis is a common lung disease characterised by chronic infection in small airways that results in some parts of the lung becoming damaged, scarred and dilated, allowing infected mucus to build up in pockets. This condition is characterised by a persistent cough with excess amounts of mucus and, often, airflow obstruction together with episodes of worsening symptoms.

 

In healthy individuals, glands in the lining of the airways make small amounts of mucus, which keeps the airways moist and traps inhaled dust, dirt and organisms. Usually, when mucus becomes excessive it is either coughed up and out, or swallowed. However, in people with bronchiectasis, the mucus pools where the airway is widened and makes the person prone to recurrent respiratory tract infections.

Causes of bronchiectasis

There is conflicting information about the actual causes of Bronchiectasis. But most information point to the fact that Bronchiectasis is rarely the initial condition, usually Bronchiectasis is the result of other lung conditions which then lead to Bronchiectasis further down the line.

 

Bronchiectasis is caused due to an excess amount of mucus in the airway, or a degradation of the lung tissue. This causes a breakdown of the walls and the distortion of the airway to create a bulge or a pocket in the wall of the airway which acts to trap mucus and foreign bodies in the lungs. This excess mucus and break down of the walls can be caused by a number of conditions included, but not limited to:

For Bronchiectasis to develop, it requires a condition which does one of the following:

  1. Degrades the lung tissue,
  2. Creates excess mucus or
  3. A combination of both.

 

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the major causes of Bronchiectasis (up to 50% of cases) in children, but because cystic fibrosis is hereditary, it is rarely, if ever, the cause of Bronchiectasis in adults unless the initial damage was started as a child.

Bronchiectasis occurs frequently in association with pulmonary tuberculosis and is caused primarily by tuberculous bronchitis. It is common in all types of tuberculosis, especially in the fibroid lesion stage. It may occur with active tuberculosis and become part of the tuberculous picture. It may also occur with inactive tuberculosis and then present a distinct symptom complex.

In the case of adults, although many people who develop bronchiectasis have been smokers, there has never been a direct link between smoking and Bronchiectasis. Although lung conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), including BronchitisAsthma and Emphysema in adults may lead to an adverse immune system over reaction which results in Bronchiectasis. Similarly with Bronchiectasis, if not treated, can develop into atelectasis.

 

How to Manage Bronchiectasis

Management of Bronchiectasis is complex because of the variety of underlying causes. Clinical decisions around the management of the condition are made based on individual presentations.
Treatment may include:
  • Physiotherapy,
  • Use of medicines (particularly to control infections),
  • Regular influenza vaccinations and,
  • Where appropriate, surgery

What happens over the years?

Patients tend to have ongoing symptoms but these can generally be controlled with treatment and the vast majority of patients live active independent lives. A small proportion of patients develop rapidly progressive/severe disease and for these patients more aggressive management and regular review by a respiratory physician are recommended.

How Does AirPhysio Help Bronchiectasis?

By using the AirPhysio device to clean the airway and condition the lungs, this will assist in clearing out the pockets of mucus, as well as a physiotherapy method to assist in the maintenance of Bronchiectasis.

 

AirPhysio assists in 2 distinct ways:

 

1.   Firstly the combination of the Positive Expiratory Pressure combined with the oscillating effect helps to reduce the elasticity of the mucus, allowing the device to loosen the mucus from the airway walls to assist in the mucus clearance process through the 2 stages of the AirPhysio mobilization and elimination method.

 

2.   Secondly, the vibration AirPhysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway and assists to improve lung capacity through a physiotherapy method of exercising the lungs.

For more information about Bronchiectasis, please refer to the following web pages and articles:

 
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/brn
http://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Bronchiectasis-Sept-2014.pdf
http://www.aihw.gov.au/bronchiectasis/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1520760/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronchiectasis
 

Atelectasis

Atelectasis (at-uh-LEK-tuh-sis) is the collapse or closure of part or (much less commonly) all of a lung. This results in a reduction or absence of the gas exchange to and from oxygen and carbon dioxide. Atelectasis is similar to pneumothorax, except that the blockage or collapse is on the inside of the lung airways for atelectasis.
Risk factors for developing atelectasis include:
  • Anaesthesia
  • Foreign object in the airway (most common in children)
  • Lung diseases
  • Mucus that plugs the airway
  • Pressure on the lung caused by a build-up of fluid between the ribs and the lungs (called a pleural effusion)
  • Prolonged bed rest with few changes in position
  • Shallow breathing (may be caused by painful breathing)
  • Tumors that block an airway
In atelectasis, part of the lung collapses or doesn’t inflate. The air sacs in that part of the lung are no longer filled with air. As a result, they can’t take part in gas exchange.
If only a small area or a few small areas of the lungs are affected, you may have no signs or symptoms. This is because the rest of the lung can bring in enough oxygen to make up for the collapsed part of the lung.
If atelectasis affects a large area or several large areas of the lungs, your body’s organs and tissues may not get enough oxygen-rich blood. Conditions and factors that keep the lungs from properly expanding and filling with air can cause atelectasis.
Atelectasis is very common after surgery or in patients who were in the hospital.
The reason behind this is that the medicine which is used during surgery to temporarily put you to sleep (Anaesthesia) can decrease or stop your normal effort to breathe and urge to cough. Sometimes, especially after chest or abdominal surgery, pain may keep you from wanting to take deep breaths. As a result, part of your lungs may collapse or not inflate correctly.
Atelectasis can also be caused by certain lung conditions which cause a blockage or collapse of the lungs like Asthma, Emphysema, Bronchitis andCystic Fibrosis. If these conditions aren’t treated and conditions worsen, they can lead to Atelectasis, i.e. the blockage or collapse or closure of part or all of the lung.
If atelectasis persists, it may prevent the lung from properly clearing mucus. This can lead to infections (such as pneumonia).

How Does AirPhysio Help Atelectasis?
AirPhysio assists in 2 distinct ways:
1.   Firstly the clearance process of AirPhysio assists to clear any blockage or build-up of mucus through the 2 stage mobilization and elimination method.
2.   Secondly, the vibration or flutter effect of the AirPhysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway, potentially reopening any blocked or collapsed parts of the lungs.
For more information about atelectasis, please refer to the following web pages and articles: 
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atl
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000065.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atelectasis

Asthma

Asthma comes from the greek word ἅσθμα or asthma which means panting. It is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, the small tubes which carry air in and out of the lungs.

When you have asthma symptoms the muscles in the airways tighten and the lining of the airways is inflamed, which causes swelling, which is then protected using by the production sticky mucus over the airway. Although the production of mucus is used by the body to protect the inflamed areas of the airway, this has an adverse effect of causing the airways to become narrowed, so that there is less space for air to flow into and out of your lungs. An excess amount of mucus can actually cause the partial closure of the airways and/or pooling of mucus in the lungs.
There are other heart condition which are commonly diagnosed as Asthma which is actually a coronary condition. One of these includes right sided heart failure. These conditions are an issue where the heart isn’t transferring the carbon dioxide and oxygen between the heart and the lungs effectively, but the brain reads this that the lungs aren’t working properly. Over a long period without treatment, this may lead to failure of the lungs due to being over worked. Please consult your doctor about this.

Triggers of Asthma

Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are many different triggers for asthma, and these can be different for different people.
The most common ones are:
·  Allergy triggers, e.g. house dust mites, pollens, pets, pollution and moulds
·  Smoke, e.g. Fire smoke, Cigarette smoke, Tabacco smoke, etc…
·  Viral infections, e.g. colds and flu
·  Weather, e.g. cold air, change in temperature, thunderstorms, high levels of humidity, etc…
·  Work-related triggers, e.g. wood dust, chemicals, metal salts, stress, fumes, etc…
·  Some medicines
·  Some foods (although rare) may include dairy products, eggs, peanuts, sulphites and other preservatives, monosodium glutamate (MSG), food colourings or royal jelly.
·  Chemicals in foods which may trigger allergies and asthma may include sulphites (common food and drug preservatives; additive numbers 220-228), tartrazine (yellow dye), benzoates, monosodium glutamate (known as MSG) and salicylates
Common symptoms include:
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
These symptoms differ from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Generally they tend to be worse during the night and early in the morning.
For most people the risk of developing Asthma is approximately 5%, however the condition tends to be genetic increasing the risk to approximately 25% if either parent is a known sufferer.
Asthma is incurable, however if managed in the correct way there is no reason why an asthma sufferer cannot live an active life. If left untreated, the mucus build-up from asthma may lead to Atelectasis, which is the partial blockage or closure of part of the lungs.

Changes to Lifestyle to assist in the management of Asthma
A person with COPD needs to make a number of important lifestyle changes including:
Quit smoking – techniques can include ‘cold turkey’, counselling, nicotine replacement therapy and medications that work on brain receptors. Evidence shows that counselling, together with medical therapy, is most effective.
Increase Physical Activity – try to be as physically active as possible. If possible, attend pulmonary rehabilitation, similar to using the AirPhysio device.
COPD Action Plan – Follow a COPD action plan.
Change Diet – Eat a healthy diet and try to avoid foods with possible irritants as mentioned in theAsthma article.
Plenty of Rest – Make adjustments to your lifestyle and home environment to ensure plenty of rest.
Improve Hydration – Keep adequately hydrated to help keep the mucus in your lungs runny and easier to cough up.
Avoid Irritants – Avoid smoky, dusty, pollen or environments with other irritants.
Join a support group – call Lung Foundation Australia (Tel. 1800 654 301) for information on a support group close to you.
How Does AirPhysio Help Asthma?
By using the AirPhysio device to clean the airway and condition the lungs, this will assist in the maintenance of Asthma.
AirPhysio assists in 2 distinct ways:
1.   Firstly the clearance process of AirPhysio assists to clear any blockage or build-up of excess mucus through the 2 stage mobilization and elimination method.
2.   Secondly, the vibration or flutter effect of the AirPhysio including the deep breathing method assist to condition the airway and assists to improve lung capacity through a physio therapy method of exercising the lungs, similar to exercise.