DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

Biology

DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

Asthma

  • Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by narrowing of air passages.

Causes:

Allergy

  • Due to pollen, dust, fur, animal hair, spores among others.
  • If these substances are inhaled, they trigger release of chemical substances and they may cause swelling of the bronchioles and bring about an asthma attack. Heredity
  • Asthma is usually associated with certain disorders which tend to occur in more than one member of a given family, thus suggesting’ a hereditary tendency.

Emotional or mental stress

  • Strains the body immune system hence predisposes to asthma attack.

Symptoms

  • Asthma is characterized by wheezing and difficulty in breathing accompanied by feeling of tightness in the chest as a result of contraction of the smooth muscles lining the air passages.

Treatment and Control

  • There is no definite cure for asthma.
  • The best way where applicable is to avoid whatever triggers an attack (allergen).
  • Treatment is usually by administering drugs called bronchodilators.
  • The drugs are inhaled, taken orally or injected intravenously depending on severity of attack to relief bronchial spasms.

Bronchitis

  • This is an inflammation of bronchial tubes.

Causes

  • This is due to an infection of bronchi and bronchioles by bacteria and viruses.

Symptoms

  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Cough that produces mucus.

Treatment

  • Antibiotics are administered.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis is a contagious disease that results in destruction of the lung tissue.

Causes

  • Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Human tuberculosis is spread through droplet infection i.e., in saliva and sputum.
  • Tuberculosis can also spread from cattle to man through contaminated milk.
  • From a mother suffering from the disease to a baby through breast feeding.
  • The disease is currently on the rise due to the lowered immunity in persons with HIV and AIDS (Human Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
  • Tuberculosis is common in areas where there is dirt, overcrowding and malnourishment.

Symptoms

  • It is characterized by a dry cough, lack of breath and body wasting.

Prevention

  • Proper nutrition with a diet rich in proteins and vitamins to boost immunity.
  • Isolation of sick persons reduces its spread.
  • Utensils used by the sick should be sterilized by boiling.
  • Avoidance of crowded places and living in well ventilated houses.
  • Immunization with B.C.G. vaccine gives protection against tuberculosis.
  • This is done a few days after birth with subsequent boosters.
See also  DISACCHARIDES

Treatment

  • Treatment is by use of antibiotics.

Pneumonia

  • Pneumonia is infection resulting in inflammation of lungs.
  • The alveoli get filled with fluid and bacterial cells decreasing surface are for gaseous exchange.
  • Pneumonia is caused by bacteria and virus.
  • More infections occur during cold weather.
  • The old and the weak in health are most vulnerable.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the chest accompanied by a fever, high body temperatures (39-40°C) and general body weakness.

Prevention

  • Maintain good health through proper feeding.
  • Avoid extreme cold.

Treatment

  • If the condition is caused by pneumococcus bacteria, antibiotics are administered.
  • If breathing is difficult, oxygen may be given using an oxygen mask.

Whooping Cough

  • Whooping cough is an acute infection of respiratory tract.
  • The disease is more common in children under the age of five but adults may also be affected.

Causes

  • It is caused by Bordetella pertusis bacteria and is usually spread by droplets produced when a sick person coughs.

Symptoms:

  • Severe coughing and frequent vomiting.
  • Thick sticky mucus is produced.
  • Severe broncho-pneumonia.
  • Convulsions in some cases.

Prevention

  • Children may be immunized against whooping cough by means of a vaccine which is usually combined with those against diphtheria and tetanus.
  • It is called “Triple Vaccine” or Diptheria, Pertusis and Tetanus (DPT).

Treatment

  • Antibiotics are administered.
  • To reduce the coughing, the patient should be given drugs.

Practical Activities Observation of permanent slides of terrestrial and aquatic leaves and stems Leaves

  • Observation of T.S. of bean and water lily are made under low and ‘medium power objectives. Stomata and air space are seen.
  • Labelled drawings of each are made.
  • The number and distribution of stomata on the lower and upper leaf surface is noted.
  • Also the size of air spaces and their distribution. Stem
  • Prepared slides (TS) of stems of terrestrial and aquatic plants such as croton and reeds are obtained.
  • Observations under low power and medium power of a microscope are made.
  • Labelled drawings are made and the following are noted:
  • Lenticels on terrestrial stems.
  • Large air spaces (aerenchyma) in aquatic stems.

See also

FACTORS AFFECTING RATE OF BREATHING IN HUMANS

GASEOUS EXCHANGE IN A MAMMAL – HUMAN

GASEOUS EXCHANGE IN AN AMPHIBIAN – FROG

GASEOUS EXCHANGE IN INSECTS

GASEOUS EXCHANGE IN ANIMALS

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