Doctor's Notes on Emphysema: Life Expectancy and Treatment
Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which the alveoli (small sacs) in the lung that allow for oxygen exchange between the air and the bloodstream are destroyed. The most common cause of emphysema in the US and in many other countries is cigarette smoking. Exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, and toxic fumes or dust in the environment are is also a risk factor for developing emphysema. Less commonly, genetic conditions such as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency can cause the condition.
Destruction of lung tissue in emphysema leads to the primary symptom of the condition, shortness of breath, medically known as dyspnea. Shortness of breath may first arise with exercise or activity, but it gradually worsens over time. Wheezing is typically an associated symptom.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) QuizQuestion
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma.See Answer
Must Read Articles:
AsthmaAsthma is a disease that affects the breathing passages of the lungs (bronchioles). Asthma may be caused by genes and environmental factors. Asthma causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. Treatment includes avoidance of triggers and medications to control and prevent symptoms.
Bacterial PneumoniaBacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. People with pneumonia usually experience coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death from infection.
Bronchitis (Chronic)Bronchitis is inflammation of the air passages in the lungs. There are several viruses and bacteria that cause bronchitis. Exposure to pollutants or tobacco smoke are also risks. Bronchitis is contagious if it is viral or bacterial. It is not contagious if it is due to smoking, air pollution, and other inhaled irritants. Symptoms of bronchitis include cough, sore throat, wheezing, fever, chills, etc. Treatment for bronchitis depends on the cause.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition in which there is a long-lasting obstruction of the airways, and occurs with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and/or asthma. Causes of COPD include cigarette smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental tobacco smoke, Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, airway hyper-responsiveness, and air pollution. Symptoms of COPD include a productive cough and acute chest illness, shortness of breath, wheezing, heart failure, cyanosis, and weight loss. Treatment of COPD includes medications, oxygen therapy, surgery, and lung transplant.
Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax)A collapsed lung or pneumothorax is a condition in which the space between the wall of the chest cavity, the as a result all or a portion of the lung collapses. Types of pneumothorax include tension and simple. Causes of pneumothorax include spontaneous, traumatic, disease and related. Pneumothorax is a life-threatening emergency. Medical care should be sought immediately.
Coughs (Acute and Chronic)A cough is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. A chronic or persistent cough may signal certain lung conditions that should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Common causes of coughs include infection, allergies, lung disease, medications, and GERD (reflux). Acute coughs are categorized as infectious or non-infectious. Chronic cough (persistent cough) have a variety of causes and should be evaluated by physician. Treatment of cough, acute cough, chronic or persistent cough depends on the cause of the cough.
Pulmonary HypertensionPulmonary hypertension is an abnormally high pressure in the pulmonary arteries leading from the heart to the lungs. Primary pulmonary hypertension has no underlying condition that has caused this condition. Secondary pulmonary hypertension is caused by other underlying conditions. Treatment depends on the cause of the underlying condition, or the condition of primary pulmonary hypertension.
Smoking (Cigarette)Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness among Americans. Effects of smoking can cause cancers, emphysema, bronchitis, COPD, chronic cough, and more. Smoking cessation includes nicotine replacement therapy and behavioral therapy.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.