Blocked Airways Lungs – Causes, Symptoms And Classification

By on May 2, 2014

Want to know what causes blockage in airways and what are the diseases that result from blocked airways lungs?

What is airway obstruction?

When the part of air passage is blocked for some reason, then it becomes difficult to breathe freely.

When respiration through airways is blocked, then the condition is called airway blockage. It stops air getting into the lungs.

Here is the classification of Airway obstruction:

Blocked Airways Lungs

  • Upper airway blockage: Upper airway blockage mainly happens in the upper part of the airways that could be throat, voice box and trachea.It may be caused due to foreign body aspiration, paralysis of vocal cord, pertussis, epiglottitis and more.
  • Lower airway blockage: Lower airway blockage is due to increased resistance and decreased radius in the bronchioles present in the lungs. Hence, the amount of inhaled air lessens in every breath you take as well as reduces the amount of oxygen reaching pulmonary arteries. Diseases associated with lower airway blockage are referred as obstructive lung diseases. Some diseases are life-threatening.
  • Complete airway obstruction: It completely does not allow any air into the airways. When complete airway obstruction happens, one cannot breathe.

Symptoms of Blocked Airways Lungs

Symptoms are noticeable according to the type of cause and location and vary from person to person.

  • Gasping of air
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Breathing noises
  • Agitation and panic

Causes of Airway Blockage in Lungs:

Possible causes of airway obstruction include:

  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Swelling of vocal cords
  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Trauma to the airway from an accident
  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Constant Smoking
  • Collapse of tracheal wall called tracheomalacia

The combination of mucus plugging, bronchospasm, scarring, increased mucus and inflammation of airways make the airways become obstructed very often and ultimately narrowed causing blocked airways.

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