Categories of respiratory diseases include those that affect the airways and those that involve the blood vessels, explains WebMD. There are also respiratory diseases that involve problems with the air sacs in the lungs, called the alveoli, as well as those involving the chest wall.
Chronic or acute bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are examples of respiratory illnesses involving problems with the airways, notes WebMD. Pulmonary embolism is an example of a respiratory disease that results from blood vessel abnormalities. Pneumonia, tuberculosis and lung cancer are some respiratory diseases that affect the alveoli. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome, a condition in which the chest is unable to expand normally due to pressure from excess weight, is a respiratory illness related to the chest wall.