When lungs become damaged, it can become difficult for the body to obtain the necessary amount of oxygen required for it to function correctly. There are numerous diseases and conditions that can either harm the lungs entirely or interfere with their ability to operate effectively. Examples of such conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs), pulmonary hypertension, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, sarcoidosis, severe bronchiectasis, and Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM Lung Disease).
Oxygen is a vital element required for various chemical reactions within the body to produce energy. In the process of energy production, carbon dioxide is created as a waste product, which must be eliminated from the body. The lungs play a vital role in this process, as they are responsible for the exchange of gases, such as taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.
Healthy lungs are soft and spongy, made up of elastic tissue that enables them to stretch. If the lungs are unable to perform their essential function due to disease or other conditions, medications can sometimes help, but in some cases, lung transplantation may be the only viable option. Transplantation involves replacing the damaged lungs with healthy lungs from a donor, which can help the patient breathe better and improve their overall quality of life.