Emphysema: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Emphysema is a disease that belongs to a group of chronic lung diseases. This term refers to the pathological processes in the lungs. They are characterized by a violation of gas exchange in lungs and respiration. This disease is spread mainly among the elderly.
With the progression of emphysema there occurs early disability and sick person becomes disabled as a result of heart and lung failure.
Emphysema, along with asthma and bronchitis, refers to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). All diseases in this group are characterized by impaired bronchial patency. However, each disease has its own characteristics, so it is important to conduct the diagnosis and targeted treatment.
The main cause of emphysema is a bronchitis that is a chronic infection in the bronchi. Chronic bronchitis usually develops between the ages of thirty to sixty years. The disease occurs more often among men than among women. As a result, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema are formed.
In the development of bullous emphysema the main factor is heredity and transferred earlier lung disease, such as tuberculosis.
Development of the disease is also caused by:
- air pollution;
- poor working conditions (eg, inhalation of particles of silica, asbestos, coal dust).
- Cyanosis (bluish color of the mucous membranes and skin).
- Shortness of breath.
- Barreling (increase) decrease in chest and her breathing movements.
- Expansion of intercostal spaces.
- Expanding supraclavicular areas.
In the early stages of the disease the main symptom is shortness of breath that occurs during exercise. Initially, breathlessness is variable and often occurs in winter. With the progression of the disease shortness of breath occurs at any time of the year, and later at the slightest physical effort and even during the rest. Developing shortness of breath can turn into life-threatening conditions of the patient.
In the initial stages of the disease, patients with emphysema are forced to take the position of the body that brings them relief, such as lying on their stomach with a drooping shoulder girdle and head.
At the advanced stage of the disease there appears bluish tint on the lips, tongue, nails, especially after physical loads.
If left untreated, it can cause serious complications that lead to disability. Therefore, treatment should be started in a timely manner: at the stage of development of bronchitis to emphysema. Treatment consists of:
- smoking cessation;
- execution of special breathing techniques
- the treatment of diseases caused by emphysema;
- surgical treatment of bullous emphysema.
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