Doctor insights on:
What Is Emphysima
Emphysema is a lung disease caused by destruction of lung tissue--specifically the alveoli, which are the smallest sac-like units of the lung responsible for oxygen exchange. It is characterized by shortness of breath, an expanded chest, and possible signs of low oxygen in the body such as bluish ...Read more
Breakdown of walls: Of the small air pouches in your lung, called alveoli. When the walls become damaged, the alveoli merge into one larger pouch, decreasing the surface area where gas exchange can occur. Think of this by comparing the surface area of a ballon of equal size to a bunch of grapes. Though individually smaller, there are many grapes in the same volume, so more surface area. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Definition...: Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is usually caused by cigarette smoking which damages the lungs leading to this disease. It is an incurable, slowly progressive disease. Once present, treatments are aimed at reducing symptoms and insuring that there is enough oxygen in the body to support it. Smoking cessation is vital to decrease airway inflammation. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Progressive...: Emphysema is a progressive disease and it progresses faster if smoking is continued. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, cough sometimes productive of sputum, decreased oxygen level with increased carbon dioxide level, etc. With progression, the signs and symptoms worsen. COPD can lead to death so smoking cessation is necessary to slow progression. The patient should see doc for therapy. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Life long: Once you have emphysema, it will always be there. Once you lose lung tissue, it is gone forever. That doesn't mean life is over...There are very good treatments, and people with emphysema can life full, productive lives. Best thing is to stop smoking and see a doctor to get treated. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Smoking Cessation: The most important thing is to stop the cause, which in the vast majority of cases is smoking-related. Thereafter, treatment focuses on keeping the airways open with medications. There is less room in the lungs (even though they're bigger) for gas exchange, so many of these patients require supplemental oxygen. ...Read more
Chronic Lung Disease: Emphysema is a form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). There are different classifications of COPD. End stage could refer to you needing to use daily medications in order to relieve symptoms of shortness of breath. This could also mean needing to use oxygen. If a physician has mentioned "end stage" it is worth visiting with a lung specialist called a Pulmonologist. ...Read more
Possibilities...: Most of the time, COPD is caused by smoking, if you are a non-smoker, there are environmental exposures that can contribute so what type of work you do may be relevant. There is also a form of COPD, alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency, which is caused by an enzyme deficiency. This can be diagnosed via a blood test and the enzyme can be replaced so the disease won't progress further. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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