In general the causes of chronic lung conditions are toxins (harmful substances) – be they from the air i.e. particulates (air pollution), foreign antigens (pollens, dusts etc.), chemicals or foreign substances that are brought into the lungs from the air and blood in the way of bacteria, viruses, mycoplasma, etc. – their excretions and byproducts of their death and the molecular, cellular and tissue changes that occur when the body fights these foreign substances.
An even shorter explanation is that BAD THINGS got into your lungs and these bad things have changed the structures of your lung tissues for the worse.
The changes in the lung tissues from these BAD THINGS can be mild to extreme and as you would assume- the mild forms are much more easily reversed while the extremely badly damaged lung tissues are much more difficult to reverse. Under this section of my website I have listed a tremendous number of different treatments and other diseases that are associated with lung problems that you and your doctor should be aware of since if you have one or more of these other conditions that could be worsening your situation.
One of the first and really obvious problems that I have seen missed and overlooked by patients and their doctors is a chronic sinus infection. The infection brings white blood cells (polymorphonucleated leucocytes) into your sinuses and these form PUS. This is usually colored brown, or yellow brown or may even be white but will usually be somewhat thick and sticky. This PUS contains a number of protein digesting enzymes that will injure and destroy your delicate lung tissues. With sinus infections the PUS from the sinuses drips down your throat into your lungs and will cause tremendous damage and may in some cases be the only reason you have the problem.
Fix the problem and your lungs will stop deteriorating!
Unfortunately you and your doctor usually do not want to believe this because you may have no symptoms- but then again you could have a sore throat at times and you may be experiencing some hoarseness at times. Never the less, no matter if you have symptoms or not, if it were me I would have a CT exam of my sinuses to rule out this condition. It is a simple CT exam of the sinuses. The doctor who examines you without doing a CT and proclaims to you that you have no sinus infection can not be trusted. Only a CT exam will pick this up when you have no symptoms. If you have an infection you need to treat it aggressively. You may even need surgery. If so, please do the operation ASAP!
OK, let’s say you do this CT and the CT is normal. That is great. One less thing to worry about. Then you have to move on to other problem areas. Blood tests should give some indication as to what is going on.
Tests for inflammation, inflammation and allergies should be done
ESR = erythrocyte sedimentation rate= Sed Rate. An elevation indicates inflammation, The higher the Sed Rate, the more the inflammation and the more serious the condition is.
C-R-P = C-reactive protein- levels rise when there is inflammation in the blood.
fibrinogen level- higher levels than normal indicate that your blood vessels are being damaged and you are have small amounts of blood clotting occurring constantly. This is confirmed by a D-Dimer level that is high. Atherosclerosis, autoimmune conditions, allergies, and infections are the most common causes of these changes.
D-dimer- the higher it is the more tendency you have to have a blood clot in your legs or elsewhere or soon will have. Often doctors will want to give you an anticoagulant to help prevent a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) = blood clot in the lower legs
CBC with indices, platelets (if your PMN’s are high- you have a bacterial infection; if your eosinophils are high you have allergies; if your basophils are high you may have lead poisoning; if your lymphocytes are high you have a virus.
chemistry panel- checks your overall organs’ health
ANA- Antinuclear Antibody- measures to see if you are have an immune reaction to your own tissues (autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, vasculitis, etc.)
Immunoglobulin E – if elevated you are likely to have significant allergies or in rare cases a parasite. If high you should do inhalant allergy testing by seeking out an allergist and having that doctor test you for allergens and then treating you for these.