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What are some diseases of the respiratory system?

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Quick Answer

Some common respiratory diseases include asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking, infections and genetics are responsible for most diseases of the respiratory system, according to WebMD.

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Diseases that affect the lungs or respiratory system may produce a number of symptoms, including shortness of breath and chronic cough, notes the American Lung Association. Other symptoms may include wheezing, chronic chest pain, coughing up blood and chronic mucus production.

Asthma causes an inflammation of the airways. This condition leads to swelling and narrowing of the airways. The affected individual tends to produce an excess amount of mucus.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a term that refers to a group of conditions that block the airways. People with this condition may experience shortness of breath, frequent infections of the respiratory system and anxiety or depression.

Cystic fibrosis is a condition in which the lungs and digestive system are damaged. This condition is often inherited.

Emphysema is a condition that causes damage of the air sacs in the lungs. This may greatly affect breathing patterns and should be treated as soon as possible.

Acute bronchitis refers to a condition in which a viral infection causes damage to the airways. Coughing, production of phlegm and feeling tired are some of the symptoms associated with this condition.

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