Allergic rhinitis is an inappropriate immune system response to an allergen – most commonly house dust mite, pet, pollen and mould. Read more here.


Aspergillosis is a group of diseases affecting the lungs and sinuses. It is caused by Aspergillus, a common fungus that lives both indoors and outdoors. Read more here.


Croup is a viral illness, which in young children, causes narrowing of the upper airways. Inflammation and swelling of the lining of the voice box and windpipe cause them to become narrowed, which causes breathing to become more difficult. Read more here.

Cystic fibrosis

CF is an inherited disorder which affects a number of organs in the body (especially the lungs and pancreas) by clogging them with thick, sticky mucus, which can cause shortness of breath, a chronic cough and repeated chest infections. Read more here.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

Whooping cough is a contagious bacterial disease which can be very serious for babies and children. It is characterised by a 'whoop' sound with each sharp intake of breath after coughing. Read more here.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that most commonly affects the lungs, but can also affect the lymph nodes, bones, joints and kidneys. Read more here.

Vasomotor rhinitis (VMR)

Vasomotor rhinitis is also known as irritant rhinitis, and is non-allergic and non-infectious. It is characterised by episodes of sneezing, watery nasal drainage, and blood vessel congestion of the nasal mucus membranes. Read more here.

Rare respiratory conditions

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF, is a serious condition that affects the delicate tissues of the lungs. Normally the lung tissue is soft and flexible which means it is easy to breathe, but in someone with IPF the lung tissue becomes stiffened and damaged from scarring. The process of the scarring of the lungs is called fibrosis, and once it has occurred the tissue does not recover. Read more here.


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos that affects the cells that make up the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the lining or membrane that covers and protects various internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma most commonly occurs in the linings of the lungs or the abdomen.

It is rare due to its latency period or the time between exposure and appearance of symptoms. On average, this disease has a range of latency between 13-70 years after inhaling or ingesting asbestos. It is a rare occurrence for its side effects to appear 10 or 20 years after exposure.

The average life expectancy is 18 to 31 months after diagnosis, but prognosis may improve with treatment. Symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath and general fatigue.

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