The mucus membrane that lines the respiratory tract is very important. This is primarily due to the fact that the mucus secreted by the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract protects the body, in particularly the lungs, from air-borne pathogens that are inhaled when breathing. Mucus also contains antibodies that not only trap inhaled infectious agents, but also help to destroy them. This mucus membrane lining also works to keep the airways moist and prevents them from drying out. </p>
Common Causes of Mucus in the Lungs
The gradual destruction of alveoli, the small air sacs in the lungs that ensure that oxygen is transferred to the bloodstream and that carbon dioxide is exhaled out of the body, is a condition known as emphysema. These alveoli, which look like a cluster of grapes, are found at the end of the airways, the bronchioles.
When the air passages (bronchi), which allow inhaled air to travel into the lungs as well as providing a way for carbon dioxide to move out of the body, become swollen this is a respiratory disorder known as bronchitis. This disorder has often been attributed to viral infections, but can also be caused by a bacterial invasion. The mucous membrane releases more mucus in an attempt to control the infection and the related inflammation.
Excess production of mucus can be brought on by exposure to air-borne allergens such as dust and pollen, which irritates the lungs. Build up of mucus can also be caused by the chemicals inhaled when smoking as well
Inflammation of the airways that is also accompanied by an increase of mucus production can be due to a lung disease known as asthma. A severe asthma attack can cause acute breathing problems and airway obstruction due to accumulation of mucus.
(TB) Tuberculosis –
Tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, is often identified by frequent bouts of coughing that expel both mucus and blood. TB is a very serious bacterial infection of the lungs where the patient continues to cough for at least a month.
Lung mucus production can often be caused by sinus infections. The sinuses are the hollow cavities that allow air to flow from the nose to the windpipe. The sinuses are made up of four pairs of openings that connect to the nose. The purpose of the mucous membrane in the sinuses is to produce mucus to act as a filtering system for dust and dirt.
If too much mucus is found in the lungs this could also suggest that the patient is suffering from pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection of harmful pathogens that include fungus, virus or bacteria that affect the lungs. With this condition, the lungs usually inflamed and those suffering from pneumonia have a fever and experience breathing problems accompanied by a moderate to severe cough.