Silent Killer: Emphysema

Drowning in air? A paradox? Not really, with lungs filled with large pockets of air, its victims must gasp for life-giving oxygen. This is because waste air is not easily removed from the lungs allowing oxygen-high air to replace it. More feared by cigarette smokers than lung cancer, Emphysema is however little understood today. Its is one of the most destructive, however least publicized lung diseases. This may be due in part to the fact that there have not been any emotional treatment or prevention breakthroughs in man’s fight against emphysema.

Although cigarette smoking plays a meaningful role in most situations of emphysema, Scientist have no idea what truly causes the majority of human situations. It is known, however, that smoking makes the condition much worse and speeds up the lung’s destruction.

Once the condition develops, it continues to worsen until there is long-lasting lung damage. By the time emphysema is detected, important damage has already occurred. For reasons not clearly understood, the walls of alveoli. The lung’s tiny air sacs, begin to disappear. Several sacs join together forming larger spaces, the alveoli walls lose their flexibility, and air is retained.

As the damaged progresses, the lungs have greater difficulty in transferring oxygen to the blood and removing carbon dioxide from it. Once established, the disease cannot be reversed. Breathing becomes increasingly difficult and victim’s physical strength ebbs away. Death from emphysema has been described as slow drowning. ultimately exchange of air in the lungs becomes impossible and the sufferer suffocates.

There is also a scarce inherited form of emphysema. In this form persons usually become

ill at an early age in their 30s or 40s while classical emphysema victims are stricken at much older age, sometime in the late 60s or later. In the inherited form of disease, the effects are much more meaningful because it greatly restricts the victim’s life at a time

when he would typically be very active. Because it is irreversible, the outlook for emphysema victims is not good.

Since it is sometimes possible to slow the spread of emphysema, it is important to detect it early, before much damage occurs. The breathing restriction imposed by the disease will likewise be reduced.

Until more about preventing emphysema is understood, everyone should be alert to the symptoms. chiefly excess sputum and shortness of breath. This is not normal and should be reported to your physician and above all, quit smoking or better however, don’t start.

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