Treating Lung Disease

Lung Care

Lung disease is the number three killer in America, responsible for one in seven deaths. Lung disease and other breathing problems are the number one killer of babies younger than one year old. Today, more than 30 million Americans are living with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Northern Nevada Medical Center treats patients with acute asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema and A1AD related emphysema, pneumonia, sarcoidosis, HIV/AIDS and lung disease and influenza. Most of these conditions are often diagnosed in an outpatient setting. Northern Nevada Medical Group has a team of primary care physicians who can help diagnose these conditions.

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Medical Center, call our free Direct Doctors Plus® referral service at 775-356-6662.

Asthma

The very word emergency connotes urgency. But many people don't realize how important it is to recognize emergencies and react by seeking emergency care. This is especially true when it comes to breathing. With the Truckee Meadows' elevation, prevalence of smoking and high air particulate count, especially in winter, asthma is quite common. The disease may often be undiagnosed and affects children as well as adults, with an estimated 23 million afflicted with asthma worldwide, according to the American Lung Association.

While it's known that pollutants and other factors are triggers, no definitive cause or cure for asthma has been discovered. Asthma is defined as a chronic condition in which the air passages in the lungs become inflamed and swollen. Any irritation of these overly-sensitive air passages can lead to an asthma attack with symptoms including chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing or feeling of inability to catch one's breath. Asthma can become critical or even fatal if ignored. Don't wait to seek emergency care when symptoms of respiratory distress appear:

  • Shortness of breath when walking or talking
  • Feeling of constant fatigue
  • Inability to sleep or eat
  • Inability to tolerate regular activities without breathing difficulty

One or more of the symptoms above with a family history of asthma especially signals emergency attention. Treatment for asthma can involve medications including IVs, heart monitoring and multiple breathing aids including inhalants.

For more information on asthma and local asthma resources, please call the American Lung Association of Nevada, 829-5864.

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease that makes it harder for you to breathe. There are two types of COPD: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Each type can cause many symptoms including a cough that produces mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. While there is no cure for COPD, treatments can help relieve symptoms. Treatments options include medication, oxygen therapy, surgery and lung transplant.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both lungs caused by bacteria, viruses or by inhaling a liquid. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. Pneumonia can be a serious condition, especially in young children, older adults and people with other health issues. Vaccines are available to help prevent some types of pneumonia.

Influenza

Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory infection caused by viruses. Millions of people get sick from the flu every year. Symptoms are generally worse than the common cold and can include body aches, chills, fever, headache and sore throat. While most people will recover from the flu on their own, the condition can cause serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control recommends annual flu shots.

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Medical Center, call our free Direct Doctors Plus® referral service at 775-356-6662.