Diseases & Conditions

It’s important to understand your respiratory condition in order to treat it properly.  Here at ​Des ​Peres ​Hospital Center, it’s easy to stay up-to-date on the latest respiratory diseases and conditions with the information you’ll find on this page.

Looking to learn more about your symptoms? Call (314) 966-9100 to connect with one of our doctors or use the physician finder tool below. 

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Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs, become inflamed. Thick mucus is often coughed up with this condition.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a buildup of fluid in the alveoli, or tiny air sacs, of the lungs. Increased fluid means that less oxygen makes it to the bloodstream.


Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease in which the lungs are scarred from inhaling asbestos fibers. It causes shortness of breath and may not appear for many years after exposure.


Asthma makes breathing difficult and causes coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath due to airway swelling and extra mucus production.


Bronchiectasis is a condition in which the airways slowly lose their ability to clear mucus, more easily grow bacteria and become scarred. Over time, breathing becomes increasingly difficult.


Bronchiolitis is the inflammation of the small passages in the lungs, which are called bronchioles. It is typically caused by a viral infection.

Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia (BOOP)

Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia (BOOP) is a rare lung disorder that involves inflammation of both the airways and the small air sacs of the lungs. Individuals with BOOP may have a flu-like illness, cough and become short of breath during activity.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a chronic respiratory disease that is common in premature or low-birthweight infants who have received oxygen or been on a ventilator.


Byssinosis is an asthma-like condition that is caused by breathing in cotton, flax, hemp or sisal dust.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs, repeatedly become inflamed. Thick mucus is often coughed up with this condition.

Coccidioidomycosis (Cocci)

Coccidioidomycosis, or Valley Fever, is a fungal infection caused by inhaling spores of the fungus Coccidioides.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (CPOD) involves inflammation and thickening of the airways, as well as tissue destruction at the site of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Over time, COPD makes breathing very difficult.

Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia (COP)

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that causes the body to produce thickened mucus, sweat and digestive juices. It can cause significant damage to the lungs and digestive system.


Emphysema is a disease, which causes gradual damage to the alveoli, or tiny air sacs, in the lungs. It makes breathing progressively more difficult.

Hantavirun Pulmonary Syndrome

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory infection caused by a virus carried by rodents. It is not contagious among humans, but can be caught from rodents.


Histoplasmosis is an infection that arises from breathing in fungal spores found in bird and bat droppings.

Human Metapneumovirus

Human metapneumovirus is a virus that causes upper and lower respiratory tract infections.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis involves inflammation of the lungs caused by breathing in dusts that cause allergic reactions. These dusts may be from bird droppings or fungal spores.


Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. There are many different influenza viruses that cause mild to severe illnesses.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a disease in which cells grow too rapidly and form tumors. These cancerous tumors interfere with normal lung function.


Lymphangiomatosis is a rare congenital disorder that causes a large number of tumors to grow in the body. These tumors can interfere with normal body functions in any organ except the brain and spinal cord.


Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that attacks the thin layer of tissue covering the internal organs, which is called the mesothelium.

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral illness that includes fever, cough and shortness of breath. Since it was first reported in 2012 it has caused many deaths.

Nontuberculosis Mycobacterium

Non-tuberculosis mycobacterium is found in stagnant water and soil. It causes infection in persons with immunodeficiency, such as HIV infection.


Pertussis is an extremely contagious respiratory disease that causes violent coughing and makes it difficult to breath. There is a vaccine available.

Pneumoconiosis (Black Lung Disease)

Pneumoconiosis, or Black Lung Disease, is an occupational lung disease caused by inhaling coal dust.


Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes coughing, high fevers and difficulty breathing.

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia

Primary ciliary dyskinesia is a rare genetic lung disorder in which the cilia, or tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the airways, do not move. The accumulated mucus causes blockages and increased susceptibility to infections.

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) is a rare lung disease in which the blood vessels of the lungs become narrow, causing increased blood pressure in the lung vessels.

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) means there is high blood pressure in the lung arteries.

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when lung tissue thickens due to scarring. It makes breathing progressively more difficult.

Pulmonary Vascular Disease

Pulmonary vascular disease is any condition that impacts the blood vessels between the lungs and the heart. It typically causes shortness of breath.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a respiratory infection that causes mild cold-like symptoms in healthy adults. It can become a serious infection in infants and older adults.


Sarcoidosis is the growth of groups of inflammatory cells. It is believed to be an immune response and usually spontaneously resolves without intervention.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a severe viral respiratory illness. Although it was widespread in 2003, no new cases have been reported since 2004.


Silicosis is a respiratory condition caused by inhaling silica dust. It causes cough, shortness of breath and weight loss.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. It can lead to snoring and daytime drowsiness.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a lung disease caused by bacteria, which is spread through coughing and sneezing.