Four common lung diseases most Pakistanis go through

Hiba Nauman Nov 02 2015

There is a prevalence of certain lung diseases in Pakistan. Due to pollution in the environment, poor healthcare services and ineffective and unplanned prevention techniques, Pakistanis are affected by a lot of fatal pulmonary diseases.

Here are a few common ones, and how they can be regulated.


On a global level, Pakistan ranks third in terms of prevalence of pneumonia. This can be seen how around 71,000 children die of pneumonia annually in Pakistan.

Pneumonia is a disease that affects people with low or weak immune systems. This includes children under the age of five and elderly people. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria or virus, it affects the lungs and, if left untreated, it can even lead to death. It starts with coughing, often producing mucus, also called sputum, from the lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood. Patients of pneumonia have fast and shallow breathing and suffer from shivering, nausea and vomiting.

Pneumonia can be controlled by getting frequent flu shots and staying away from people who might suffer from pneumonia.


Pollution is the main reason for asthma in Pakistan, especially in cities like Karachi and Lahore where there is a huge population as well as smoke produced by factories. Smoking is also one of the main causes, and people who are surrounded by smokers also suffer from asthma due to passive smoking.

There are seven million patients of asthma in Pakistan.

The only way asthma can be prevented is to avoid the triggers that cause it. These include pollution, allergens, cold, flu or virus. Taking preventive medications on time in order to avoid asthma from progressing is also suggested. Taking frequent trips to areas away from city with fresh environment can decrease symptoms of asthma.


Influenza is one of the most common illnesses found around us. But it is more than just sneezing and a little cough. Influenza can be caused by a number of bacteria or viruses and can progress to diseases even worse, such as asthma and pneumonia.

Influenza vaccines, if administered properly, can make the flu less dangerous and it can go away easily as compared to influenza occurring without the vaccine.


Bronchitis is the third most common pulmonary disease in Pakistan. Although not a lot of statistics is found on its prevalence, however, it is noted that a large population is affected by bronchitis in Pakistan.

The main cause from bronchitis is smoking. Inflammation of membranes in the lungs is called bronchitis. As the irritated membrane swells and grows thicker, it narrows or shuts off the tiny airways in the lungs, resulting in coughing spells that may be accompanied by phlegm and breathlessness.

It is said that eating onions decreases and prevents bronchitis. Taking frequent steam or using a humidifier also decreases chances of bronchitis. However, if cough persists, one must get treatment right away as the disease can become chronic and fatal.

There are many other diseases that Pakistanis go through because of pollution and our complete disregard of environmental hazards. It is time that we start focusing on these issues, before the numbers get out of hand.

Hiba Nauman

Hiba Nauman:

'Hiba is a dental student with a flair for writing. She takes caffeine very seriously, and loves experimenting with art. She strives to be a dental surgeon someday who not only performs surgeries but also spreads health awareness and free smiles.