Conditions We Treat
Lung disease is the number three killer in the U.S., causing one in seven deaths, according to the American Lung Association (ALA). Breathing problems and allergies are increasingly common among children in the U.S., including asthma and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Respiratory conditions include a wide range of problems, from flu to bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to lung cancer.
Mercy's Lung Center offers a number of services for the effective detection, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of lung conditions.
Asthma is a disease in which the airways become narrowed and blocked, causing shortness of breath, breathing trouble and other symptoms. Severe asthma may require emergency treatment to restore normal breathing. Environmental triggers - such as cold air, some viral infections, tobacco smoke, exercise and allergens (things that cause allergies) - can cause an asthma episode. Weather changes and irritants in the environment like smog, aerosol sprays, perfumes, and paint fumes can be problematic for asthmatics. Treatment must be tailored to the individual.
Your child can learn to live with asthma with an Asthma Self-Management Action Plan. By learning to recognize asthma triggers to avoid, common symptoms and what they mean as well as how to react when an episode becomes serious is key to effective self-management. Work with your physician to develop a management plan. Each person has different warning signs before an asthma attack, and each attack can vary. We can help determine what exercise is good and bad; how to minimize asthma triggers in your environment. Devices like inhalers, peak flow meters and nebulizers also help manage asthma. Mercy's respiratory therapists and pulmonary rehabilitation professionals can help you follow up on physician recommendations.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a group of diseases that limit the flow of air into and out of the lungs. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, most often caused by heavy, long-time cigarette smoking. COPD also includes chronic asthma.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
RSV is a virus that is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children, causing infection of lungs and breathing passages. In adults and children over age 3, its symptoms resemble the "common cold," but in kids under age 3, RSV can cause bronchitis and pneumonia. RSV is very contagious. The highest rates occur in infants two to six months old. RSV infections generally last for up to two weeks. Symptoms include high fever; severe, frequent cough; runny nose and nasal congestion; shortness of breath; wheezing; difficulty breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses, preventing air from getting into the lungs. Causes can be extra tissue (such as large tonsils) in the back of the airway; the tongue falling back and blocking the airway; or decreased tone of the muscles holding the airway open. Sleep apnea is common as adult asthma. Most people who snore excessively have some form of sleep apnea. Severe sleep apnea can deplete the level of oxygen in the blood, heightening the risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes. Symptoms include snoring, interrupted by periods of silence or pauses in breathing; gasping or choking during sleep; excessive movements during sleep; morning headaches; extreme sleepiness or fatigue during the day.