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What is it ?
· Emphysema is a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily
causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli (air sacs in
the lung). In people with emphysema, the lung tissue involved in exchange
of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) is impaired or destroyed.
Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease or COPD (pulmonary refers to the lungs). Emphysema
is called an obstructive lung disease because airflow on exhalation is
slowed or stopped because over-inflated alveoli do not exchange gases
when a person breaths due to little or no movement of gases out of the
alveoli.…read more

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· Cigarette smoking is by far the most dangerous behavior that
causes people to develop emphysema, and it is also the most
preventable cause. Other risk factors include a deficiency of
an enzyme called alpha-1-antitrypsin, air pollution, airway
reactivity, heredity, male sex, and age.…read more

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Signs and Symptoms?
· Shortness of breath is the most common symptom of
emphysema. Cough, sometimes caused by the production of
mucus, and wheezing may also be symptoms of emphysema.
You may notice that your tolerance for exercise decreases
over time. Emphysema usually develops slowly. You may not
have any acute episodes of shortness of breath. Slow
deterioration is the rule, and it may go unnoticed. This is
especially the case if you are a smoker or have other medical
problems that limit your ability to exercise.…read more

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· Stopping smoking
· Bronchodilating medications: These medications, which cause the air
passages to open more fully and allow better air exchange, are usually the
first medications that a doctor will prescribe for emphysema. In very mild
cases, bronchodilators may be used only as needed, for episodes of
shortness of breath.
· Steroid medications
· Antibiotics
· Oxygen treatment
· Lung transplant…read more

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· The prevention of emphysema is closely linked to the
prevention of smoking. The primary risk factor for this disease
that you can control is the smoking of cigarettes. Those who
are daily smokers put themselves and their health at
increasing risk with every pack of cigarettes and with every
year they continue to smoke. For individuals that have
emphysema caused by other causes such as air pollution,
avoiding the pollution is the best first step toward prevention.…read more

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