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Lung Disorders

Respiratory Care in the Greater Cleveland Area

There are many different types of lung disorders and respiratory diseases. At Southwest General, our respiratory care team provides comprehensive care and treatment for COPD and other lung disorders. This includes a renowned pulmonary rehab program.

Below, you will find information on several lung disorders, including the symptoms and common approaches to treatment.

Lung Nodule

Why do I cough all of the time? Could it be a lung nodule?

Ask yourself:

  1. Have I been coughing a lot lately?
  2. Have I been coughing for a while now?
  3. Have I been exposed to asbestos?
  4. Am I, or have I been, a smoker?
  5. Does my family have a history of lung cancer?

If you've answered yes to any of the questions above and have been diagnosed with a disease or have had no relief in symptoms, it could be a lung nodule. It is very important to actively investigate a lung nodule to identify the cause and start medical intervention quickly to reduce or eliminate complications.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Why can't I breathe? Why am I so tired all the time? Could it be pulmonary hypertension?

A rare lung disorder, pulmonary hypertension (PH), occurs when the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises way beyond normal levels. PH affects people of all ages and ethnicity and more women than men.

Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the legs and/or abdomen
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Fatigue or general weakness

If you have any of these symptoms--or have been treated for these, yet the symptoms persist--consider Southwest General's Pulmonary Hypertension Center for further evaluation.

Part of Southwest General's Heart and Vascular Institute, the PH Center is located within the Outpatient Specialty Center, in Suite A-410, at the hospital's Main Campus.


I get winded quickly and have a difficult time exercising, could I have asthma?

Although asthma usually begins in childhood, the condition can strike people of any age. Asthma is a condition that causes the body to produce too much mucus in the airways. This makes the airways swell up and narrow down, making it difficult to breathe.

The severity of asthma attacks varies from person to person. Some people will barely notice the symptoms, while others might feel out of breath just from climbing a flight of stairs. There is no known “cure” for asthma, but the symptoms can be managed and controlled.

The following symptoms might be signs that you have asthma:

  • Persistent cough that gets worse when exercising
  • Losing breath and wheezing after short periods of activity
  • Tight feeling in the chest
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • General feelings of fatigue and weakness

An asthma attack occurs when the symptoms of asthma get worse. These can be emergency situations if it severely disrupts your ability to breathe. At Southwest General, we provide patients with the education, tools and resources they need to keep asthma symptoms under control.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is an umbrella term that covers many types of lung diseases, the most common of which are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These diseases are complex and progressive, meaning they usually get worse over time. It is important to start managing COPD as soon as the symptoms are detected. The earlier a patient starts managing the condition, the better their chances of slowing its progression and keeping the symptoms at a minimum.

Common COPD conditions:

  • Chronic bronchitis – This is caused by inflamed bronchial tubes (airways) that make it difficult to breathe. It is characterized by frequent fits of coughing. Chronic bronchitis is usually caused by smoking or exposure to airborne pollutants.
  • Emphysema – This disease makes it difficult for the lungs to obtain all of the oxygen they need. Symptoms include shortness of breath and difficulty exercising. In the early stages, however, emphysema may not show any symptoms.

COPD treatment and management is a core component of Southwest General lung health services. We have a dedicated COPD outpatient center running from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call us at 440-816-6743.