Lesson 11: The Respiratory System (page 11 of 19)

The best answer is false. Diet has a lot to do with Asthma.



Emphysema results when the lungs are over inflated due to destructive changes to the alveolar walls, usually as a result of smoking. The lungs become rigid and are not able to absorb much oxygen, so emphysema patients will often be seen with a tube up their nose and a bottle of oxygen by their side. Whereas asthma sufferers have difficulty getting air into their lungs, emphysema sufferers feel like they have difficulty getting air out of their lungs. Due to labored breathing and lung rigidity, they tend to develop a characteristic “barrel chest” appearance, where the front to back measurement of the chest approximates the side to side measurement. The damage that occurs to the lungs in emphysema is generally irreversible, even with the cessation of smoking.


Sinus Trouble

The most common disease of the head is probably sinusitis [sinus + itis, inflammation]. The sinuses become inflammed and painful, the mucous membranes in the sinus cavities become swollen, and sometimes excess mucus is present which can block the sinus cavities. Acute (sudden onset) sinusitis is usually treated by doctors with antibiotics, but these rarely provide lasting relief and continued use can eventually lead to chronic (longstanding) sinusitis, which is much more difficult to treat.Sinus conditions can be “dry,” meaning that there is a deficiency of mucus or the mucus is very thick; or they can be “damp,” meaning that there is an excess of mucus. Damp conditions can be “cold,” where the mucus is white or clear and watery; or they can be “warm,” where the mucus is yellow, green or brown. There is usually an infection present in “damp, warm” sinus conditions. We will discuss sinus conditions further in a later section of this lesson when we talk about herbs and nutritional supplements.


Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infections)


Ear When the ear drum is intact, the “middle ear” is sealed from the outside world, except for the eustachian tube, which provides dranage into the pharynx (throat), and allows air pressure on both sides of the ear drum to equalize. As we saw in a previous section, when this tube becomes blocked, which can happen when there is excess fluid, when the fluid becomes thicker than normal, or when there is swelling of the tissues, fluid can build up in the middle ear chamber providing an ideal location for bacteria to grow. This can result in inflammation, infection and pain in the middle ear, a condition which is referred to as otitis media [ot-, ear + itis, inflammation] or simply, a middle ear infection. Ironically, it is the antibiotics that are used to treat otitis media that often turn out to be the greatest culprit. Although they can provide quick, temporary relief, antiobiotics cause the fluid in the middle ear to thicken, leading to further problems later on. When middle ear infections become chronic and recurrent, it is usually the overuse of antibiotics that is the cause.

True or False:
Although they can sometimes provide quick temporary relief, antibiotics can often make chronic or recurrent ear infections worse in the long run.



(Select the best answer and click on the “Continue” button.)