Causes of Respiratory Diseases

In the modern world, respiratory diseases have emerged as one of the most prevalent medical conditions affecting individuals of all age groups. The term respiratory diseases is a broad term and as a norm usually covers common respiratory diseases to life threatening conditions that influence the respiratory system. When it comes to respiratory diseases, it is recommended that individuals should have an understanding of the most common causes of respiratory diseases so as to be able to protect themselves from these infections better. This said the following overview on causes of respiratory diseases will help shed more light on this.


Smoking is perhaps one of the leading causes of respiratory infections. Research has shown that cigarette smoke contains over 4000 different toxic chemicals. When inhaled, these chemicals have a detrimental effect on not only the lungs but also the air pipes. For starters, the smoke can progressively destroy the alveoli in the lung bringing about impaired breathing or even constrict the airways incapacitating the breathing process.
People who smoke are also predisposed to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. This is because smoking progressively weakens the respiratory with the result being the system being highly susceptible to infections.

Allergens And Pollutants

Allergens are also a major contributing factor when it comes to respiratory diseases. This is because they not only have the capacity to bring about a medical condition but can also trigger a condition such as asthma. As a norm, allergens cause persistent inflammation of the airways resulting in wheezing and even shortness of breath.
Allergens can be in any form with the most common being dust, mite, pet hair and even pollen grains. Pollutants, on the other hand, include asbestos, wood smoke, dust and even heavy industrial smoke.

Communicable Infections

Deadly pulmonary infections also feature prominently in the list of possible causes of respiratory diseases. As you may well know, there is a class of respiratory illness which is classified as being communicable. Simply put, if you come in close contact with an individual suffering from such a respiratory condition, chances of infection are very high.
Tuberculosis is perhaps one of the most notable in this group. As a norm, it is easily communicable when one inhales mucus droplets from the air after a patient sneezes. Given this, it is recommended that one should employ appropriate measures when close to individuals affected by these conditions so as to avoid getting infected. Common cold, sore throat and influenza are other communicable mild respiratory diseases that fall under this category.

Weak Immune System

As a norm, the human body is exposed to hundreds of infections; including respiratory infections, but in most instances can fight them off. However, for an individual who has a weak immune system, the body is not able to fight off infections that would have otherwise been fought off in a usual scenario, and the result is an illness.
A good example would be a common cold. Frequent bouts of a common cold usually soften the ground for other more severe respiratory infections. To avoid this, it is recommended that an individual should strengthen the immune system through exercising and proper diet.

By taking note of the causes mentioned above of respiratory diseases, an individual can be able to prevent these diseases better…

ERS Annual Congress – Amsterdam 2011

Amsterdam: international capital of respiratory medicine and research

It isanhonour to be able to welcome for the first time an ERS Annual Congress to Amsterdam, a city renowned for its cultural diversity, world-class museums and one of the world’s great orchestras. And, after a full day of Congress sessions, there is nothing better than a stroll along one of the city’s many beautiful tree-lined canals.
You will find the RAI Congress centre spacious and easily accessible, just a few tram stops from the city centre – or, in the best Dutch way, a short bicycle ride. All the exciting features and services you have come to expect from the world’s most successful respiratory events will be again in evidence – and more.
Our thanks go to the Amsterdam Programme Committee for developing a scientific programme at once comprehensive and rewarding, matching the latest in respiratory research and clinical practice with discussion and debate at the various symposia and grand rounds focusing on issues of concern both to the respiratory professional and a wider public.
We are also proud to welcome the inaugural HERMES European examination in paediatric medicine on the Congress opening day. As many of you are aware, the decision in May 2010 by the Netherlands to use HERMES as a means of implementing an in-training assessment programme for adult respiratory medicine trainees places it in the vanguard of European harmonisation.
The ERS Annual Congress is the once-a-year occasion when the world’s respiratory experts and professionals converge on a European city to meet, exchange views and share knowledge. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam, September 2011, capital of the Netherlands and, for five days, international capital of respiratory medicine and research.

Science andthe city: the perfect match!
Elisabeth Bel
Congress Chair
Peter Sterk
Congress Co-Chair


Abstract online Abstract Notification Is your abstract accepted? After careful review of all abstracts by each Assembly an…

Congress Calendar

Dates Topic Mid-December 2010 Online abstract submission- now closed 10 January 2011 Deadline forthird round of session proposal – submit your proposals for Hot Topic, Grand Roun…

Educational Programme

The educational programme, covers all aspects of respiratory medicine, and will include the following:

Scientific Programme

The Scientific Programme of the Congress is availableon…