The three main categories of lung diseases are airway diseases, lung tissue diseases and lung circulation diseases, as MedlinePlus explains. Examples of airway diseases are asthma and chronic bronchitis, while lung tissue diseases include sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary hypertension is an example of a lung circulation disease.
Airway diseases negatively impact the functioning of the tubes through which gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide travel to and from the lungs, notes MedlinePlus. Patients with a lung disease in this category often report feeling as though they must breathe through a narrow drinking straw, because most airway diseases involve the narrowing or complete blockages of important airways.
Lung tissue diseases involve some form of structural abnormality in the tissue that makes up the lungs, states MedlinePlus. For example, a disease that causes scar tissue to form on the lungs can prevent them from adequately expanding. As a result, the patient is unable to breathe as deeply as a person with healthy lungs. A lung circulation disease affects the blood vessels that travel through the lungs. Due to blood clots, scarring or inflammation in these blood vessels, the lungs become less efficient at taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide from the body.