Lung Conditions

Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is a genetic (inherited) disorder which results in an absence or low levels of Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) protein in the blood. It classically presents with early-onset emphysema and liver disease in childhood and occasionally in adulthood. Click here for more information. 


Asthma is a common disease characterised by inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and cough. Asthma effects children and adults, and may develop at any age. Click here for more information. 


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease that makes it hard to empty air out of your lungs. This is because the airways get smaller leading to airflow obstruction. This can result in shortness of breath or tiredness because you are working harder to breathe. Click here for more information.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is Ireland’s most common genetic (inherited) disease. It primarily affects the respiratory and digestive systems in children and young adults. CF causes the production of thick, sticky mucus that clogs the air passages of the lungs, leading to persistent infection and permanent lung damage due to scarring. Click here for more information.


Lymphangioleiomyomatosis or LAM is a rare lung disease that occurs only in women and nearly always starts before the menopause. LAM mainly affects the lungs, where an abnormal type of cell (called a LAM cell) builds up around the airways and the lymph vessels. The LAM cells lead to cysts developing in the lung. One of the main symptoms is breathlessness due to the effect of the cells on the airways and also to the cysts which take up space in the lungs.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is cancer of the trachea (windpipe), bronchus (airway) or lung air sacs (alveoli). Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Ireland causing one in five of all cancer deaths and it is the third most common type of cancer in both sexes. Click here for more information.

Pulmonary or Lung Fibrosis

Pulmonary or Lung Fibrosis is a progressive, debilitating lung disease, which results from the development of scarring of the lung tissue. Lung Fibrosis mainly affects people between 50 and 80 years of age. The main symptoms include shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, chest discomfort and clubbing (enlargement of the fingertips). Click here for more information.


Sarcoidosis is a disease which can affect any organ of the body, although it most commonly affects the lungs, eyes, lymph nodes and skin. Sarcoidosis is thought to occur as a result of an abnormal immune response, where the body believes itself to be under attack and this triggers an immune reaction.

Sleep Apnoea

Apnoea means temporary cessation of breathing. In obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), frequent pauses of breathing occur during sleep due to closure of the air passage in the pharynx. Heavy snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness are common symptoms of OSAS. OSAS is diagnosed by sleep monitoring (polysomnography). Click here for more information.