Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Wheezing’

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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) ‘Wheezing’.

What is ‘Wheezing’?

By its definition, ‘wheezing’ is “breathing with a rasp or whistling sound as a result from constriction or obstruction of the throat, pharynx, trachea or bronchi”.

Wheezing will occur when a person is trying to breathe deeply through air passages that are narrowed or filled with mucus, normally found as result of an allergy, infection, illness or irritation.

It is most commonly found when exhaling and will at times be accompanied by a mild sensation of tightness in the chest, while anxiety brought on by not being able to breathe can easily cause muscle tension that will the matter of breathing worse.

Wheezing is most commonly found as a symptom associated with asthma and can be caused by a variety of things such as exposure to allergens from food, pollen and other substances sometimes unique to each individual asthmatic.  Other causes may come from fumes, ice-cold drinks, very cold air, medication, strenuous exercise, weather changes, foreign objects trapped in the airways, cystic fibrosis and other genetic disorders.  Wheezing will also be found with such respiratory illnesses as pneumonia, bronchitis, congestive heart failure, emphysema and COPD.

Normally a diagnosis of wheezing comes when a physician, allergist or pulmonologist takes a medical history and then performs skin and blood tests to identify the precise nature of the problem.

Many times, a pulmonary function test may be ordered to measure the amount of air moving through a patient’s breathing passages and x-rays will sometimes be used to indicate wheezing caused by chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

In a case of mild wheezing, it may be relieved by drinking plenty of juice, water, weak tea and broth, while ice-cold drinks should be avoided.  Many medical folks will have a patient with a wheezing problem, use a vaporizer or maybe a steam tent.

Bronchodilators (the meds used to widen narrowed airways) will many times be prescribed for patients whose wheezing is caused by asthma.  Newer asthma medications taken daily can help prevent asthma attacks, as can avoiding the triggers that can set off allergies and asthma.

When wheezing is caused by an allergic reaction, physicians will give antihistamines to neutralize body chemicals that may be reacting to the allergen.

Other possible relief avenues from wheezing can be found in some yoga positions as they improve breathing control and reduce stress.

Those with emphysema, COPD and asthma know that wheezing and breathing problems can be life-threatening and those people and the people that travel within their world should know the symptoms to look for when fearing an emergency attack of wheezing.  Among those symptoms would be a person turning blue or gray while fighting for a quality breath, the person becomes unable to speak, starts coughing up bubbly-pink or white phlegm, develops a fever over 101, and starts to constantly wheeze all the time.

With that, we ask a ‘QUESTION OF OUR READERS’ and today we ask, “How often do you, while fighting COPD and/or Asthma, develop wheezing problems and how long do they normally last?”

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)

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Vital Capacity’

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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) ‘Vital Capacity’.

What is ‘Vital Capacity’?

By definition, ‘Vital Capacity’ is “the greatest amount of air that can be forced from the lungs after maximum inhalation”.  It is the maximum amount of air you expel from your lungs after you have a maximum inhalation and it is equal to the sum of inspiratory reserve volume, tidal volume and expiratory reserve volume.

A person’s vital capacity is measured with a wet or regular spirometer and in combination with other physiological measurments, can help give that person a diagnosis of any lung disease.

‘Vital Capacity’ is also used to in helping determine the severity of respiratory muscle involvement in neuromuscular diseases and can help physicians and specialists be guided when making treatment decisions in Guillian-Barre` Syndrome and mayasthenic crisis.

Whereas a normal adult should have a vital capacity between three and five litres, the reading can and will depend on age, sex, height, mass and ethnicity.

Most of anyone that has been diagnosed with either severe Asthma or any stage of COPD has been given tests to see where that person’s lungs are within the scope of their disease.

While both lung volumes and lung capacities will refer to the volume of air associated with different phases of a respiratory cyle, the lung volume is directly measured while the lung capacity is inferred from those volumes.

Most of anyone diagnosed with COPD and/or severe Asthma knows the importance of knowing their FEV (forced expiratory volume) measures – which is how much air a person can exhale during a forced breath.  Those are measured during the first (FEV1), second (FEV2) and third (FEV3) seconds of the forced breath.

Your forced ‘Vital Capacity’ (FVC) is the total amount of air exhaled during the FEV testing.

Just remember, while FEV numbers seem to be the most often referenced, it is important to know your overall FVC or ‘Vital Capacity’ number as well in helping you keep track of the depth of your battle with COPD and/or Asthma.

With that, we ask a ‘QUESTION OF OUR READERS’ and today we ask, “Do you know your FVC (‘Vital Capacity’) number and how it relates to your FEV (Forced Expiratory Volume) numbers?

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)

 

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Transtracheal Systems’

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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) ‘Transtracheal Systems’.

What is ‘Transtracheal Systems’?

While those folks battling COPD and/or severe Asthma, having supplemental oxygen is normally provided through a nasal cannula, using a ‘Transtracheal System’ a person would have medical experts inject a catheter style tube through a small hole made in the trachea (windpipe) through which supplemental oxygen can travel to the lungs.

People must understand that this is not the same as a tracheotomy, they are entirely different.

A ‘Transtracheal System’ has been in use for long-term oxygen therapy and treating chronic hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) for getting close to 30 years.  More than 25,000 people have used this system during this period, with the majority of whom have experienced a significant improvement in the quality of their lives.

‘Transtracheal Systems’ are more than just a device to supply oxygen, it is a program of care.

When is a ‘Transtracheal System’ to be considered?  It can be considered for anyone on long-term oxygen therapy as a desired improvement in oxygen-flow requirements, if the person is willing to participate in and will care for the catheter tubing.  As with any treatment, a person fighting COPD and/or severe Asthma should always talk in depth with the physician and pulmonologist about whether a ‘Transtracheal System’ should be an option.

Those who may be recommended would be those who meet current guidelines for long-term oxygen therapy, are currently mobile outside of the home at least part of the time, are motivated to remain active and will comply with oxygen therapy and the proper care and cleaning of the catheter system.

A ‘Transtracheal System’ could also be considered for those who require higher oxygen flows and want to remain active by using lower flows of oxygen, and don’t want to wear the nasal cannula due to irritation of the nose or nosebleeds.

Among the benefits found with a ‘Transtracheal System’ could be an improvement quality of life for anyone suffering from COPD, advanced fibrotic lung disease such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and bronchiectasis.

Other benefits will include reducing the amount of oxygen flow needed to achieve healthy oxygen levels, improve activity levels and mobility, improve exercise capacity, improve the response to oxygen treatment, reduce the length of hospitalization, reduce shortness of breath (dyspnea) while improving the persons physical, social and mental functions.

Like with any therapy, a ‘Transtracheal System’ will include some possible side effects that a person would always need to be watching for.  These possible side effects could include increased infections, tube slipping, injury to the windpipe and mucus balls blocking the tube.

With that, we like to ask a QUESTION OF OUR READERS and today we ask, “If your battle with COPD and/or severe Asthma was deemed severe enough to possible consider the ‘Transtracheal System’ as a solution to your breathing and oxygen issues – would you consider doing it?

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)

 

 

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Pulse Oximeter’

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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 ‘Pulse Oximeter’.

A ‘Pulse Oximeter’ is a simple device which we have all used, either during a medical examination or at home, to clip on a finger-tip to get a determination of the percentage of oxygen saturation that is within a person’s blood.  While this test can be extremely important for those battling COPD and/or Asthma, it is a very non-invasive (thankfully a test that does not enter or puncture our bodies), painless and done in a rather quick and easy manor.

The very importance of the ‘Pulse Oximeter’ for those of us with COPD and/or Asthma is it being quick to understand and keep an eye on our oxygen levels, which we all know is one of the most important medical levels we need to visually monitor on a regular basis and especially after doing anything that may be physically exhertive.

A ’Pulse Ox’ (as many may call it) works by shining a light on the skin which will then measure and determine the oxygen saturation of the hemoglobin in a person’s blood.  Since each hemoglobin molecule can hold four molecules of oxygen and since our blood contains a fixed amount of hemoglobin, if oxygen gets in the blood it saturates all or nearly all of the blood.

The person’s oxygen saturation will be expressed as a percentage with most healthy people having an oxygen saturation level of 95-100%, and in a healthy system that number does not normally change even during physical excertion.

Now for those who may be battling COPD and/or Asthma, when they exercise or get really active, the pulmonary problems caused from the lung illness will produce a significant drop in the oxygen saturation.  Most of us battling COPD and/or Asthma know that anytime the oxyben level drops below 90% it can and will cause a significant strain on both the lungs and the heart.

When a person with COPD and/or Asthma takes a six-minute test walk with a certified respiratory therapist, and the oxygen saturation level drops to or below the 88-89% mark, it will be used as a measuring stick of sorts as to whether you need or should be on supplemental oxygen, how much oxygen you may need and whether it be all the time or just some of the time.

We will presume here that most folks that fight a daily battle with COPD and/or Asthma have a small battery operated ‘Pulse Oximeter’, which hopefully they carry with them anytime they go somewhere as not only a precaution but as the best way to determine how severe any possible bout of SoB (Short of Breath) may be by checking their current oxygen saturation level.

While we do not give out medical advice, we are pretty sure that if you are one battling COPD and/or Asthma, that most physicians and pulmonologists will recommend or prescribe a personal ‘Pulse Oximeter’ as they will understand the importance of having one available at all times – because we all know that we never know when we may have to battle a flare up.

With that we like to ask a question of our readers – today we ask, “Do you have a ‘Pulse Oximeter’ and if so, how often do you use it to check your own oxygen saturation levels?  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)

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Pneumothorax’

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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 ‘Pneumothorax’.

‘Pneumothorax’ is the medical terminology for a ‘collapsed lung’ or what happens when air leaks from inside the lung and gathers in the space between the lung and the chest wall.  The leaked air will push against the outside of the lung causing it to eventually collapse.

Most likely the symptoms of ‘pneumothorax’ will include both sudden chest pain and shortness of breath.  While these symptoms are already common in those battling COPD/Asthma the causes for an actual collapsed lung can come from chest injuries (such as blunt trauma) and the two that COPD/Asthma patients must watch closely – underlying lung disease (which we have) and mechanical ventilation (may cause an imbalance of air pressure within the chest/lung).

The Mayo Clinic researchers list risk factors for developing a bout of ‘Pneumothorax’ with those being Sex (generally men are more likely to get a bout), Smoking, Age, Genetics, history of having ‘pneumothorax’, previous Lung Disease diagnosis and whether you may be or have been on a type of mechanical ventilation.

Treating a bout with ‘Pneumothorax’ will depend on the severity of the episode but will include either one of and/or combination of Observations, a Needle or Chest Tube Insertion and possible Surgery.

While battling COPD/Asthma the idea of having a bout with ‘Pneumothorax’ or ‘Collapsed Lung’ can be very scary which is why it is so important that we stay attuned to what our body is telling us each-and-every day.

With all that, we ask you the readers if you or someone you know have ever had a problem with ‘Pneumothorax’ and if so, how quickly did you get it solved?  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)

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Orthopnea’

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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 ‘Orthopnea’.

Orthopnea’ is used in describing difficulty breathing because of your body position, especially when the SoB (Short of Breath) happens when lying or sleeping while on your back.  A person having this difficulty is likely to use several pillows just to be able to breathe better when resting or sleeping.

This kind of disorder can be and should be considered very dangerous and if left untreated can possible cause death while the patient sleeps.

COPD and Asthma patients are commonly found with this sleeping disorder and need to work with it while battling their own individual battle with COPD/Asthma.

Orthopnea’ must be taken seriously as it is not only a sign of lungs being congested but also could be giving your warning signals that your heart is not functioning properly.  When you lay flat the blood that is in your feet and legs become evenly distributed to your entire body which if you’re healthy is no big deal as the lungs and heart can handle it, but if you’re not healthy it will cause problems with the heart and your lungs will not be able to handle the extra fluids and weight.

To know if your sleeping difficulties are ‘Orthopnea’ a person needs to look for some of the more common signs and symptoms of ‘Orthopnea’ such shortness of breath while lying flat, swollen feet and/or ankles, need of pillows when sleeping and/or laying down and coughing on a regular basis while laying down.  Medical folks also say being overweight can also cause ‘Orthopnea’.

Personal Note – This writer, while having been diagnosed with sleep apnea, is familiar with the symptoms of ‘Orthopnea’ because I have fought that difficulty since I was a little kid.  Always needing extra pillows and never sleep flat on my back because it would cause a problem for my breathing or asthma and in more recent times with my COPD.

If adjusting your head and/or body’s height so that sleep may remedy ‘Orthopnea’ for a while, but if the difficulty of sleeping continues then you must consult your physician.

With all that, we ask you the readers if you have symptoms of ‘Orthopnea’, how or have you found solutions?  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)

Words of COPD/Asthma – ‘Nebulizer’

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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 our ‘Nebulizer’.

The word ‘Nebulizer’ is the reference to a machine that people use to convert liquid medications into a mist that can then be easily inhaled by using of a mouthpiece and/or mask.  Using a liquid medication with a ‘Nebulizer’ is commonly used as an alternative to using a metered dose inhaler.

Since a ‘Nebulizer’ is now built in smaller, sleek machines, the liquid medication/nebulizer can be prescribed by a physician and/or pulmonologist for use at a persons home.  Anymore, the cost of the ‘Nebulizer’ machine will be considered for payment under most insurance programs.

Using a ‘Nebulizer’ is simple, as it takes a liquid medication – that is normally provided in a pre-measured vile – and turns it into a fine mist for which the patient would then inhale either through a mouthpiece or mask.

Many patients have found that using a liquid medication turned into a mist with a ‘Nebulizer’ is much more effective than the inhalers they had been using, despite the machine itself is a bit less convenient to use.

Luckily, anymore many of the ‘Nebulizer’ units available for purchase to use at home are small enough to easily fit into a handbag or small luggage bag when needing to travel.  Some even come with convertors to make the ‘Nebulizer’ available for use in a car or camper.

While the majority of patients will be given a ‘Nebulizer’ that uses compressed air to create a mist from the liquid, there is a second-type which instead will use ultrasound to break the liquid down into a finer mist than those from a compressed air unit.

This author is very familiar with the compressed air ‘Nebulizer’ and finds that using it once per day (to start off my morning) does seem to make a difference in getting the old lungs cleared out in the morning and making them more functional for the day ahead.  Plus using a mist medication is easier on my throat than nearly any inhaler.

With all that, we ask you the readers if you use a ‘Nebulizer’ as part of your daily routine, do you feel that using the inhaled mist medication work better for you in your battle with COPD and/or Asthma?

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)