Introduction Respiration is the most important process in which food is oxidized in the presence of oxygen inside the cell and energy is produced. This energy is used in performing different functions by our body. Our respiratory system starts from nostril and end at Lungs. Lungs are main respiratory organs and other accessory organs are nostril, nasal chamber, bronchi, trachea. Some diseases are caused due to infection or problems in respiratory system.
Disease related to Respiratory System Some of the most important diseases related to respiratory system are:
- Asphyxia : It is a condition of oxygen starvation due to low atmospheric oxygen or interference with ventilation. This may be caused:
- Due to drowning, when alveoli get filled with water.
- Due to pneumonia, when alveoli are filled with mucus and tissue fluids.
- Due to carbon monoxide poisoning as we know haemoglobin has more affinity with carbon monoxide than oxygen.
- Due to cyanide poisoning, which inactivates the enzymes responsible for the utilization of oxygen in the tissue.
- Coughing : Coughing is a type of necessary reflex action which is essential for cleaning of the air passage from nostrils to bronchioles. As a result of coughing external material are removed. Coughing is caused by irritation of th throat and respiratory passages. At the start of coughing about 2.5 liter of air is inhaled after which the glottis and vocal cords are closed. Exhalation is stopped for a moment. Now the abdominal and internal intercostal muscles contracts rapidly. Due to this, the air pressure in lungs increases up to 100 mm Hg and the glottis and vocal cords open instantly. The air from lungs comes out with a sound. This sound is known as coughing. Excessive smoking and allergy tyo dust are known to cause cough. The nicotine present in the tobacco adversely affects the nervous system, blood vessels and lungs. Heavy smoking is known to cause Cancer of the lungs.
- Whooping Cough : Whooping cough is caused by Bordetella pertussis . Whooping cough is spread by discharges from the throats of infected persons. Whooping cough is primarily a disease of the childhood.
- Pneumonia : In the majority of cases pneumonia is caused by bacteria Diplococus pneumonia . In pneumonia, lymph and mucus accumuate in the alveoli and bronchioles, leading to the chest congestion.
- Tuberculosis : Tuberculosis is also called T.B. Tuberculosis or T.B. is caused by small rod shaped bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis . T.B. spreads through sputum of infected person which contains this bacteria. T.B. bacteria release tuberculin a toxin which causes fever, loss of weight and general weakness. The bacteria damage lung, alveoli and cause coughing. T.B. spreads under unhygienic conditions.
- Mountain Sickness : Persons habitual of living in plains, when ascend mountain above 8000 ft. from the sea level develop symptoms of mountain sickness within 8-24 hours. These symptoms are breathlessness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, mental fatigue and even bluish tinge on skin, nails and lips. This is because the oxygen falls with the falloff atmospheric pressure and rise of altitude; this lowers oxygen in alveolar air and results in reduced diffusion of oxygen into the blood. That's why persons living on mountains have more RBC's than those living in plains.
- Emphysema : In emphysema, the alveolar walls lose their elasticity and remain filled with air during expiration. Reduced forced expiration is the first symptom of emphysema. Later alveoli of the areas of lungs are damaged. The lungs become permanently inflated because they have lost elasticity. Inflated lungs finally reduce the intake of oxygen and elimination of carbon di oxide. Persons start feeling suffocation due to insufficient oxygen and after long time condition aggravates and the patient may die. Emphysema is generally caused by long term irritation. Air pollution, occupational exposure to industrial dust and cigarette smoke are the most common irritants.
- Diphtheria : Diphtheria is caused by bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria . The children of age group 2-5 years are highly sensitive towards this infection. Diphtheria is the most dreadful and infectious disease. The disease chiefly affects the upper part of respiratory tract. Mild fever, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, swelling and inflammation of throat are the common symptoms of Diphtheria disease.
- Asthma : Asthma is a respiratory disease which is caused due to allergy, from pollen grains of flowers, dust, various food material etc.
- Bronchitis : Bronchitis is an inflammation of bronchi, which is caused due to infection or some other forms of irritations. In bronchitis, the lining of the bronchi swells and mucus secretion is increased.
- Pharyngitis or sore throat : Pharyngitis or sore throat is an inflammation of pharynx. Pharyngitis is accompanied with the common cold and involves tonsillitis ( inflammation of tonsils).
- Sneezing : Sneezing is also a kind of reflex action. Spasmodic contraction of muscles of expiration forcefully expels the air through the nose and mouth. Stimulus may be an irritation of the nasal mucosa.
Pranayama as a Method of Treatment Controlling and inhaling of breath is called pranayama. Pranayama is a method of yoga which is very useful for the treatment of respiratory diseases as well as it also provides vigour and vitality to other body parts. According to yogdarshan there are four types of Pranayama. Of them, internal condition Pranayama is a natural method of treatment of respiratory diseases - for this sit in a meditative posture and exhale the breath as much as possible at one instance and inhale as much as you can again. The upper portion of the chest will be enlarged and the lower portion of the abdomen will be contracted inside. Inhale properly now stop the as much as you can. When you want to exhale, you slowly exhale the breath. This method of Pranayama cures all the problems related to the lungs. Pranayama is extremely beneficial for asthma patients.