Asthma & Respiratory Conditions
Chronic Inflammatory Autoimmune Respiratory Conditions
Symptoms of an asthma attack include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness/pain/pressure.
Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes with increased production of sticky secretions inside the tubes.
People with respiratory conditions or asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Some people with asthma may go for extended periods without having any symptoms, interrupted by periodic worsening of their symptoms called asthma attacks. Others might have asthma symptoms every day. In addition, some people may only have asthma during exercise, or asthma with viral infections like colds.
Mild asthma attacks are generally more common. Usually, the airways open up within a few minutes to a few hours. Severe attacks are less common but last longer and require immediate medical help. It is important to recognize and treat even mild asthma symptoms to help you prevent severe episodes and keep asthma under better control.
Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps (CRSwNP)
Symptoms of CRSwNP include nasal drainage, nasal congestion, facial pressure or pain, and a decreased sense of smell lasting for more than 12 weeks. Of these symptoms, nasal congestion and loss of smell tend to be the most bothersome.
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is one of the most common medical conditions worldwide, reported to affect almost 12% of the adult population.
It is characterized by inflammation of the nose and sinus cavities. About 20% of patients with CRS have nasal polyps, benign growths in the nasal cavities that are thought to originate from the ethmoid sinuses. Nasal polyps tend to be present in both sides of the nasal cavity. One-sided nasal polyps may need to be investigated further as they might be malignant nasal or sinus tumors.
The exact cause of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is unknown but biopsy of nasal polyp tissue in the western population demonstrates an elevated allergic type of cells known as eosinophils. Infection may also play a role, especially by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Typically, nasal polyps develop in adulthood in the 30s or 40s.
Signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on which organs are affected. Sarcoidosis sometimes develops gradually and produces symptoms that last for years. Other times, symptoms can appear suddenly and then disappear just as quickly. Many people with sarcoidosis have no symptoms. General symptoms can begin with fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and pain and swelling in joints such as the ankles.
Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) in any part of your body — most commonly the lungs and lymph nodes. But it can also affect the eyes, skin, heart and other organs.
The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown, but experts think it results from the body's immune system responding to an unknown substance.
Some research suggests that infectious agents, chemicals, dust and a potential abnormal reaction to the body's own proteins (self-proteins) could be responsible for the formation of granulomas in people who are genetically predisposed.
There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but most people do very well with no treatment or only modest treatment. In some cases, sarcoidosis goes away on its own. However, sarcoidosis may last for years and may cause organ damage.
Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD)
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare connective tissue disease. Interstitial lung disease is a common manifestion of SSc, and a leading cause of death. Symptoms of SSc-ILD include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and cough.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect various internal organs. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the most common cause of death in patients with SSc, as well as the most common complication of SSc. Interstitial Lung Disease causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs, and is more likely to develop early in the course of SSc.
Standard treatment has traditionally been a combination of immunosuppressants. However, if these treatments do not stop progression of lung function, your healthcare provider may consider a biologic drug such as tocilizumab (Actemra). There is no cure for the disease, and the course of treatment can be somewhat unpredictable with some patients experiencing a slow decline over a long period of time, and some patients experiencing a rapid decline shortly after diagnosis.