Lung Disease

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Better Breathers Club

Cigarette smoking accounts for 82% of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease deaths.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are grouped together and known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. Lung disease also includes tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, lung cancer, occupation-related lung disease, and others.

Emphysema develops over many years of assault on lung tissues. The walls between the tiniest air sacs within the lungs break down, and those compartments become unnaturally enlarged. Elasticity of the lung tissue is lost, and the lungs become distended, unable to expand and contract normally. As the disease progresses, breathing falters, and ultimately each breath becomes a chore. Meanwhile, the patient grows progressively weaker. The damage and the disease are irreversible, and in most cases therapy is limited to relief of symptoms. The primary cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking.

A rarer form of emphysema is caused by a congenital deficiency of a protein known as alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) or alpha1-protease inhibitor.

Like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or inflammation of the bronchial tubes, typically develops over many years. Many of those who suffer from it are subject to periodic attacks of obstructed breathing when the lungs become inflamed and clogged with mucus, often in response to environmental irritants.

"When my Dad was in hospital with all the tubes and stuff sticking out from him and the beeping sounds of the machines and the nurses coming in and out and the respirator on - he couldn't eat, but what really felt good was having his hair brushed.

I would sit and brush his hair for a long, long time, as it felt really good and he could focus on something else.

Everything was ugly with the tubes and stuff and when they took the respirator out, I just sat and held his hand and brushed his hair. I just kept saying - just stay with me, just stay with me.

That's what it's like, that's what it feels like." - Kim H.

  Holding Hands 



The American Lung Association and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that ALL homes be tested for radon.  Please test your home today.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and kills approximately 22,000 Americans every year. This natural, radioactive gas rises from rocks and soil in the ground and seeps into homes and buildings through cracks in the foundation and walls. Radon is a gas you cannot see, smell, or taste.


The American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific has test kits that can be purchased online for $14.00 (includes shipping/handling, laboratory results, and informational brochures).

The American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific is working with a dedicated group of radon professionals to address raising education and awareness of radon as a serious public health threat.

Questions about radon?  Contact us at