A disorder of the bronchial system that is characterized by laboured breathing accompanied by wheezing that is caused by a spasm of the bronchial tubes or by swelling of their mucous membrane. Recurrence and severity of attacks is influenced by secondary factors, mental or physical fatigue, exposure to fumes, endocrine changes at various periods in life and emotional situations.
Any of a variety of disorders of the lungs, pleural cavity, bronchial tubes, trachea, upper respiratory tract or the associated nerves and muscles that are responsible for breathing. Included are obstructive pulmonary diseases such as emphysema and asthma that involve narrowing or blockage of the airways which carry oxygen and other gases into and out of the lungs; restrictive lung diseases such as sarcoidosis and asbestosis that result in incomplete lung expansion and a reduction in the ability of the lungs to take up oxygen and release carbon dioxide; upper and lower respiratory tract infections; benign and malignant tumors affecting the lungs and associated tissue; and pulmonary vascular diseases such as pulmonary hypertension or pulmonary edema that affect pulmonary circulation.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.