What is tuberculosis? According to the  American Lung Association, tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs, but can attack almost any part of the body. Tuberculosis can spread from person to person through the air. A person diagnosed with TB in their lungs or throat can spread the disease simply by coughing, sneezing or talking. When the TB germs are present in the air, anyone is susceptible to infection.

It’s not quite that easy to become infected with tuberculosis. A person usually has to be around someone with the disease for a long period of time and is usually spread between friends and family. If not treated properly, TB can be fatal. There is good news, TB can almost always be treated and cured with the right course of medicine and treatment.

If you are living with a lung disease though, can tuberculosis play havoc on your current lung condition? Lung disease can include conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. Together, lung disease and tuberculosis can create a serious problem.

The Effects of Lung Disease and Tuberculosis

You may not consider lung disease and tuberculosis being connected, but in recent years, new research has come forward showing the extent of this connection. Lung diseases, such as COPD, and TB are among the world’s first 10 most prevalent diseases. According to a recent study, extensive lung scarring after having TB led to patients manifesting COPD like symptoms, which included coughing, wheezing and a shortness of breath. Patients were given spirometry tests and it was discovered that there was severe pulmonary damage after suffering from the effects of tuberculosis. Researchers found that pulmonary tuberculosis as a contributing factor to the presence of COPD.

Another study from the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, found that smoking was also a contributing factor for both lung disease and tuberculosis. Tobacco smoking is central to the development of COPD in most cases and some evidence exists to support the role of smoking in influencing the progression and clinical course of TB infection. Long-term effects of smoking also increased the symptoms of patients suffering from a lung disease or TB.

Proper treatment for both lung disease and tuberculosis is highly recommended. Visit your doctor if you are suffering from the symptoms of a lung disease or tuberculosis and get help immediately. A series of shots and medication can cure TB, and any lung disease can be controlled with proper treatment. There are options available to help treat either condition. If you would like to find out more about our available treatment options, please contact one of our patient care coordinators today at 888-745-6697 to schedule a free consultation.