When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it.  The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.

Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.

With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we will discuss briefly the importance of knowing the word(s) ‘Respiratory Failure’.

What is Respiratory Failure?

Respiratory Failure is the inability of the lungs to perform efficiently and effectively.  Respiratory Failure can be acute or chronic and is generally defined by low levels of oxygen or high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.

The biggest concern about having Respiratory Failure is the lack of oxygen passing from your lungs into your blood to supply those organ’s that need oxygen-rich blood to work efficiently, such as your heart and brain.

In the same matter, too much carbon dioxide in your blood system can harm your body’s organs.

One thing to remember is – both these possible problems can occur at the same time, you can have low oxygen levels while also having a high carbon dioxide level within your blood system.

Besides Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease causing possible Respiratory Failure, a spinal cord injury can as well due to the damaged nerves that controls your breathing.

Understanding Respiratory Failure means one must know and understand how the lungs work.  You must be fully aware of how when you breathe, air will pass through your nose and mouth into the windpipe and then travel into the air sacs found in your lungs.

At that point small blood vessels (called capillaries) run through the walls of the air sacs.  When air reaches the air sacs, the oxygen is then passed through the air sac walls into the blood flowing through the capillaries, while at the same time, carbon dioxide is moved from the capillaries into the air sacs – a process referred to as gas exchange.

When you have Respiratory Failure, those gas exchanges are impaired.

What is the difference between acute (or short term) and chronic (or ongoing) Respiratory FailureAcute Respiratory Failure can develop quickly and may often require emergency treatment, while Chronic Respiratory Failure develops more slowly and will last much longer.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Respiratory Failure may include shortness of breath, air hunger (the feeling like you can’t breathe in enough air) and rapid breathing.  Many times, in more severe cases the signs and symptoms may include confusion, sleepiness and a bluish color in skin, lips and fingernails.

The main goal of the treating Respiratory Failure is to get oxygen into your lungs and other organs, while removing the carbon dioxide built up within the body.  The other goal is to find and treat the underlying cause of the condition.

While acute Respiratory Failure is usually treated in an intensive care unit, chronic Respiratory Failure can be treated at home or at a long-term care center.

The outlook for having Respiratory Failure depends on the severity of its underlying cause, how quickly treatment begins and a person’s overall health.

Those who have a severe lung disease may need long-term or ongoing breathing support, such as oxygen therapy or even the help of a ventilator to support the person’s breathing.

With that we like to ask a QUESTION OF OUR READERS – today we ask, “Have you had Respiratory Failure or do you know anyone that has, and if so, how has been treated or controlled?  As always, we look forward to hearing your input, thanx.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

Know that you can follow all the writings by CrossDove Writer pertaining to COPD/Asthma by following at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)