Risk factors of lung diseases essay
There are numerous risk factors that increase the likelihood of someone suffering a lung disease, for example, smoking, air pollution, chest infections, etc. In this context, "lung disease" refers to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
On the whole, 90% of people suffering from COPD have been heavy smokers, so smoking is a massive risk factor for lung diseases. Statistics show that smokers who smoke over 20 cigarettes per day usually can't live beyond 82, but non-smokers can live beyond 90. However, some people are genetically more likely to get lung disease, others less so; this explains why some smokers live lifelong and never get lung disease while others die early. Another factor contributing to the increase in lung diseases is air pollution, where the pollutant gases and particles (e.g., sulfur dioxide) increase the likelihood of COPD, especially in areas of heavy industry. Lastly, people's occupation could also lead to their chance of getting a lung disease increasing; for example, people working with harmful chemicals that can be inhaled have an increased risk of lung disease.
Chronic bronchitis is when there's a build-up of tar from smoking, and the tar destroys and weakens cilia, inhibiting the cleaning of the airways. It also stimulates goblet cells to secrete more mucus, making mucus accumulate in the bronchioles, and therefore mucus starts to fill up the holes, causing blockage and cannot be moved by the cilia. The bacteria and viruses collect and block the bronchioles, causing the smoker to cough in an attempt to move the mucus up the airways. The damaged ciliated epithelial cells are replaced by scar tissue, thickening the airways and making it more difficult to move air in and out of the lungs (loss of elasticity in tissues, reduction in quality of diffusion, etc. ). Infections also easily develop in the accumulated mucus, inflaming the airways. The damage and blocking of the airways is chronic bronchitis....