Some diseases that affect respiration are asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to WebMD. Asthma affects respiration by narrowing airways and making breathing difficult, explains Mayo Clinic. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects respiration by obstructing airflow in the lungs.
Patients with asthma have airways that swell and produce extra mucus, explains Mayo Clinic. Asthma triggers coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It varies in severity and can interfere significantly with daily activities in some patients. A severe asthma attack can also be fatal. Asthma has no cure but can be managed by working with a doctor and obtaining appropriate treatment.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes cough, extra mucus, difficulty breathing and wheezing, reports Mayo Clinic. Chronic exposure to particulate matter or irritating gases in the air can lead to this condition. It often occurs in chronic smokers. Patients with the condition are more likely to develop lung cancer and heart disease.
Chronic bronchitis and emphysema commonly contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, notes Mayo Clinic. In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. Excess mucus production and a daily cough result from the condition. In emphysema, damaging exposure destroys the air sacs at the end of small air passages called bronchioles.