Pulmonary function is affected by conditions that cause resistance to air flow through the respiratory tract or that limit expansion of the chest. These may be conditions that affect the respiratory system directly, such as infection, injury, allergy, aspiration (inhalation) of foreign bodies, or cancer. They also may be conditions that result from disturbances in other systems, such as in the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, or nervous systems.
As noted above, changes in ventilation can affect the acidity and alkalinity of the blood. If too much carbon dioxide is exhaled by hyperventilation, the blood tends to become too alkaline, a condition termed al-kalosis. If too little carbon dioxide is exhaled as a result of hypoventilation, the blood tends to become too acidic, a condition termed acidosis.
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