The lungs are one of the most important organ systems in your body and lung diseases are among the most dangerous illnesses known to man. Proper lung functioning is necessary to keep oxygen flowing to the brain and every other organ in your body. That flow of oxygen is vital to keeping you alive and keeping your body systems functioning properly. Here is a look at the 5 deadliest respiratory illnesses that impact thousands if not millions of Americans each year.
Asthma: Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that is caused by inflammation in air passages that leads to difficulty breathing.
Over 19.2 million Americans suffer from asthma and it’s a common illness among both adults and children. Asthma is a treatable condition and many patients who suffer from it led perfectly normal lives. But over 3,000 people die from the condition each year, so it should not be underestimated as a potentially deadly disease.
Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease: Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a category of respiratory diseases that includes bronchitis and emphysema. It’s estimated that around 24 million people in the US have COPD, of which only 12 million have been diagnosed. It’s expected to be the third leading cause of death in the world in 2020, making it one of the deadliest respiratory diseases known to science.
COVID-19: There is still so much that is unknown about COVID-19. However, we do know that it attacks the respiratory system and it can be quite deadly to those who have weakened immune systems or underlying conditions. To date, over 200,000 people in the US have died from COVID-19 and that number continues to climb. The CDC recommends social distancing, wearing a mask in public, and washing your hands often to curb the spread of this deadly disease.
Lung Cancer: It’s estimated that 1 out of every 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime. It’s one of the deadliest forms of cancer and accounts for about 22% of all cancer deaths. There are a variety of different forms of lung cancer that range from lung adenocarcinomas to mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a lesser-known variety of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. More information about mesothelioma prevention and is available through the Mesothelioma Cancer Network.
These are not the only respiratory illnesses in existence, but they are the most common and most life-threatening if left untreated. It’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy respiratory system by exercising and practicing healthy lifestyle habits.