Rare respiratory diseases list

Rare Pulmonary DiseasesIndividuals with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to rare respiratory diseases. Photo Credit

Rare pulmonary diseases can be inherited or acquired by exposure to millions of microorganisms that populate the atmosphere. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can invade the lungs, causing disease and lung infections. Disease-producing organisms can affect not only the tissues of the lung, but also the membranes surrounding the lungs such as the pleural space and the lining of the airway. According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to rare pulmonary diseases such as aspergillosis.

Aspergillosis is a lung disease that develops after inhaling spores of Aspergillus fungi. Disease-causing species of Aspergillus are common in the environment but usually cause illness only in individuals with a weakened immune system. The disease takes three forms: allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, aspergilloma and invasive aspergillosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, "These illnesses, collectively called aspergillosis, range from allergic responses to severe and sometimes fatal infections." Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis results from inhaling Aspergillus spores, which triggers an asthmatic reaction. Aspergilloma is a fibrous growth of fungus that develops in the lung tissue. Invasive aspergillosis is a rare but serious form of aspergillosis. In this disease, a widespread fungal infection occurs throughout the lungs.

This extremely rare bacterial infection can affect a person's lungs, abdomen or neck. Actinomycosis of the lungs causes severe inflammation and may cause irreversible damage to lung tissue. Symptoms include recurrent mild fever, weight loss, coughing, and mucus production. The mucus may be discolored and or streaked with blood. Pus can accumulate in the pleural space, the area that surrounds the lungs, causing a condition known as empyema. Abscesses that form in the neck may rupture and drain through the skin.

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