The official blog of the Lung Institute.

What Can Cause Lung Damage?

8 Aug 2017
| Under Disease Education, Lung Disease, Medical | Posted by | 2 Comments
Lung Graphic

Lung damage can be caused by various substances and conditions.  Some of the most common causes of lung damage include the following:

  • Smoking — The toxic substances in cigarette smoke can cause lung damage by triggering inflammation and destroying the elasticity and structure of the lungs’ air passages and air sacs. Additionally, cigarette smoke eliminates the lungs’ cilia (the structures responsible for clearing mucus), and the resulting mucus buildup can give rise to infection.
  • Household elements — Various materials found in some homes, including asbestos, bird protein, mold and radon, can lead to lung damage.
  • Pollution — Consistently inhaling air pollutants can cause lung inflammation, which may eventually result in lung damage.
  • Medical conditions — Certain medical conditions may cause lung damage, including alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, lupus, mixed-connective tissue disease, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, pulmonary vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome and undifferentiated connective tissue disease. Additionally, people who have close relatives who were diagnosed with emphysema have an elevated risk of developing emphysema themselves given their similar genetic characteristics.
  • Medical treatments — Treatments for certain medical conditions can cause lung damage. For instance, chemotherapy (particularly cyclophosphamide and methotrexate) and radiation therapy (especially that for lung or breast cancer) may lead to lung damage. Certain antibiotics (including nitrofurantoin and sulfasalazine), anticonvulsants, antiarrhythmics and heart medications (including amiodarone and propranolol) can also lead to lung damage.

In some cases, the cause of lung damage is unknown. In fact, there is an entire set of lung diseases (encompassing approximately 100 different pulmonary disorders) that exists for which there is sometimes no apparent cause. This grouping is categorically referred to as idiopathic lung disease. Some lung conditions that can be classified as idiopathic include pulmonary fibrosis, cryptogenic organizing pneumonia and sarcoidosis.

The Lung Institute offers treatment for various forms of lung disease using stem cell therapy. Although lung diseases are incurable and the damage they cause is irreversible, our innovative lung disease treatment methods can potentially slow the progression of the disease and improve our patients’ quality of life. If you have been diagnosed with lung disease, please call the Lung Institute today at (800) 729-3065. Our caring team looks forward to explaining how we may be able to help you breathe easier.


  1. Lung Institute

    6 months ago


    Thank you for your comment. To learn more about the conditions we treat and to determine if your husband might be a candidate for stem cell therapy, please contact a patient coordinator by calling (855) 313-1149. We wish you both the very best, and look forward to speaking with you.


    Lung Institute

  2. Eva

    7 months ago

    My husband is suffering from loculated pleral effusions resulting from fluid surrounding his lungs Since carDiac bypass in 2011. He is now 81 years old, and is on oxygen 24/7, and suffers greatly from shortness of breath. Is there any treaTment that can help him?

Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

Under current FDA guidelines and regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15, the Lung Institute complies with all necessary requirements for operation. The Lung Institute is firmly in accordance with the conditions set by the FDA for exemption status and conducts itself in full accordance with current guidelines. Any individual who accesses Lung Institute's website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and stem cell procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.