What is Emphysema in the Human Body?
The lungs through regular breathing inhale oxygen into the body and exhale carbon dioxide from the body. This transfer of air takes place in the lungs. The actual oxygen and carbon dioxide interchange occur in the Alveolar sac. Emphysema is one of the ailments that occurs when the alveolar sacs are damaged or swollen.
The respiratory system becomes affected and the patient has trouble breathing. The elasticity of alveolar sacs and bronchioles is lost and thus, they begin to swell and puff up. As they swell, the capability to exchange air decreases. They require the folds and bumps to interchange air, thus the air exchange also reduces. The lungs then get puffed up as the bronchioles over-inflate and the diaphragm also gets compressed. The breathing ability of the individual gets reduced due to the compression.
Cause of Emphysema
Smoking tobacco for prolonged periods of time or bacterial infectious diseases impairs the functioning of the alveolar sac and bronchiole. The constituents of tobacco bind to the alveolar sac and bronchiole disturbing their functionality. This is a distinct process and still cannot be measured even though everyone is aware that tobacco harms the lungs. Interstitial lung ailments can occur due to asbestos and other ecological agents. For instance, asbestos is a dissimilar type of lung disease caused by asbestos.
Symptoms of Emphysema
Breath shortness is one of the symptoms of emphysema. Over a period, the patient becomes weary, they faint when they climb stairs and become breathless when walking on level ground.
When the body attempts to transfer the air in and out of the lungs, the inability to breathe could result in wheezing or coughing. The indication of infection can be discerned through stained phlegm (yellow to red). Such kind of infections necessitates medical help. As the lungs expanded due to the incapability to thrust air out, the chests of people with emphysema may look “rounded.” In extreme situations, their rib cage could also be bigger than standard, taking on a protruding and rounded look, hence the name ‘barrel chest.’
Treatments for Emphysema
There are many oral drugs, aerosol sprays and inhalers available to reduce inflammation in lungs, relieves cough,and other breathing problems.
Lung Transplant and other surgery is prescribed to the patients with severe conditions.
To learn more about Emphysema, and other lungs related disorders, visit Byju’s.