Respiratory Diseases Respiration is the process of taking in and using oxygen. There are three different phases of respiration: external respiration, internal respiration, and cellular respiration. External respiration is the intake of oxygen from the environment and the release of carbon dioxide. In internal respiration, oxygen is carried to the cells and carbon dioxide is carried away from the cells. In cellular respiration, oxygen is used in chemical reactions within the cells. Some Diseases of the respiratory system are: bronchial asthma, the common cold, and diphtheria.

Bronchial asthma is a disease in which the bronchial passages are made smaller and swelling of the mucous lining causes blockage of breathing, usually due to dust, animal fur or feathers, or pollen. Many people have asthma which is caused by allergies, called extrinsic asthma, usually suffer from hay fever. Non allergic asthma, which adults usually have, is called intrinsic asthma. Intrinsic asthma is usually caused by respiratory infections and emotional upsets.

A typical asthma attack begins with coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Some people have dry coughing as the only symptom. Attacks usually last only a couple hours. An attack may happen again in hours to even years after the first attack. Asthma attacks can be treated and prevented by the use of drugs.

Albuterol or, which can bring relief within minutes, is the usual treatment. The common cold is another disease of the respiratory system. The cold affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It causes nasal congestion, sore throat, and coughing. A cold usually lasts up to an average of seven days. There is no known cure for the common cold yet.

Diphtheria is another respiratory disease that, most of the time, affects children. The disease enters the body through the nose and mouth and attack the mucous membrane where they multiply and secrete a powerful poison. The heart and central nervous system are damaged by the poison and it can lead to death. Toxoid's, which are given to infants during the first year of life, are harmless forms of the diphtheria poison which immunize the children against serious infection.