Emphysema

Emphysema is a chronic pulmonary disease which causes the air sacs of the lungs to lose its elasticity thereby making it difficult to breathe. This condition is more prevalent in individuals who are in the habit of smoking continuously for long years. The people who are affected with emphysema will experience breathlessness and it can become serious, if not treated properly. Normally the bronchioles of the lungs should have proper air spaces. But due to repeated smoking, the air-spaces in bronchioles become enlarged thus causing breathing problem.

Causes of Emphysema :

Smoking is the major cause for getting emphysema. Statistics show that roughly 3.7 million people of U.S.A. are suffering from emphysema. It is most common in people who have crossed 45 years. Non-smokers have less chance of getting this disease unless there is genetic problem of deficiency of alpha antitrypsin by birth. Alpha antitrypsin is a protein molecule secreted by liver which protects the tissues of the lungs.

Exposure to poisonous chemicals, chemical fumes and air pollution may also weaken the lung tissue covering. People who work in polluted atmosphere and men who work with livestock may sometimes get this problem.

Usage of tobacco in any form will certainly weaken the lung tissue causing emphysema. Sometimes, this disease is observed in persons who have prehistory of other respiratory disorder. Even people who are exposed to passive smoking can also get this problem.

Symptoms :

Shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing is the common symptoms of emphysema. Since it is a chronic disease, it may gradually collapse the lung tissue making it weak and flexible over time. The person may get yellow layer of mucus while coughing. Low level of energy, fatigue, chest pain, fast breathing and palpitation, clubbing of toes and finger are some of the other symptoms of this disease. Wheezing is yet another sign which is indicative of emphysema, though it is also seen in people who are asthmatic.

Change in the level of consciousness, color changes in fingernails and lips and increased rate of heart beat are observed in some people. Choking disorder is also seen on individuals who suffer from emphysema.

Pictures of Emphysema :

Pics, photos, Images and Pictures of Emphysema

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Treatment :

Smoking should be stopped totally for getting back the lost health. Using bronchodilators can help the individual to tackle the condition of emphysema to certain extent. Breathing exercises is helpful to overcome the disorder. Regular exercise, certain modifications in lifestyle and completely stopping tobacco can delay the advancement of emphysema in severe cases. Plenty of programs and therapies are available to quit smoking.

The ultimate purpose of treatment is to improve the condition of breathing. Your doctor will first examine your lung condition and devise the course of treatment plan which includes starting anti inflammatory drugs. The risk of the intensity of the disease can be reduced by taking lot of fluids, doing exercise regularly, staying away from cold air and taking the prescribed medicines regularly. Avoid being in polluted atmosphere like dust, smoke and fumes.

In severe cases, the doctor may suggest lung transplantation for improving breathing.

Take nutritious diet rich in antioxidants which can improve the lung functions gradually. Quitting smoking is the only way to prevent you from death in case you are smoking for years together. Further restraining from smoking will also improve the general health condition and increased metabolism.

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