What is emphysema? Complicated and dangerous disease
Emphysema is a pathological condition of the lung tissue, which is characterized by its increased lightness due to the expansion of the alveoli, as well as the destruction of alveolar walls. The disease occurs in men more often than in women. The risk of developing illness in people with COPD emphysema is very high, especially after 55 years. Moreover, the illness refers to a group of chronic lung disease, which has a progressive course, often becomes causes of patient temporary or early disability.
Factors that trigger the development of emphysema
At the present time there are many causes and risk factors of pulmonary disease, which occur almost every day in people. Some of them we will now consider:
- The main causes of diseases are chronic bronchitis (COPD) and bronchial asthma. In fact, the formation of pulmonary emphysema is a direct result of chronic bronchitis.
- Smoking. In smokers cigarette smoke causes irreversible processes in the alveoli. Therefore, the patient must immediately give up this bad habit. Complete cessation of smoking is significantly improves mood and stops the destructive processes in the lung tissue.
- It is proved that emphysema can also appear due to air pollution and other environmental hazards.
- There are cases when the disease develops due to a deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin. Smoking in this pathology it is considered the main provocateur.
- Inflammatory processes in the alveoli and bronchi are also causes of emphysema. In addition to the above factors, the regular inhalation of various chemicals, dust, cement and so on can provoke the illness.
- In bullous emphysema development genetic factors and transferred lung disease (e.g. tuberculosis) play important role.
Emphysema life expectancy in people depends on the degree of destruction of lung tissue, the patient's age and individual characteristics of the organism.
Clinical picture of emphysema
The standard emphysema symptoms include: dyspnea, cyanosis (bluish color of the skin and mucous membranes), the increase in chest size, a significant decrease in respiratory movements, bulging or expansion of supraclavicular areas. In the early stages the main symptom is shortness of breath under significant physical loads. At the beginning, it is very rare, and most often in the wintertime. But if the disease progresses, the dyspnea appears at any time of the year. In severe cases in patients cyanosis develops: tongue has a blue tint, nails and lips become bluish, especially after physical exertion. Another notable symptom is weight loss. This is due to the fact that patients spend too much energy for intensive operation of the respiratory muscles. Disease is the risk factor for developing of lung cancer and the discovery of the lung nodule should be investigated immediately by patients.
Many doctors believe that the bullous emphysema is a manifestation of hereditary or genetic disorders. With regard to the etiology and pathogenesis of this form, they are still not fully understood. Bullous emphysema is characterized by the formation of air bubbles of various sizes, which are located, generally, in the edge regions of the lungs. These bubbles can be single and multiple and widespread, and local. Their sizes range from 1 to 10 centimeters. This type of emphysema is one feature - the early development of respiratory failure. It develops not only because of emphysema, but also due to compression of the surrounding healthy tissue bulls. In short, the lung disease symptoms are very serious, difficult and dangerous.
Basic methods of emphysema treatment
- Special breathing exercises. It helps to improve gas exchange. The course of treatment lasts 21 days.
- Complete cessation of smoking. This is the main principle of prevention and therapy of pulmonary emphysema.
- Antibacterials. Most often for this disease patients use bronchodilators (Atrovent, Flovent, Combivent, Symbicort, Xopenex, Ventolin, Theophylline, Pulmicort, Spiriva and so on). The intensity of the therapy and the choice of remedy depend on the symptoms. In the treatment patients use antibacterials combined with expectorants.
- Air ion therapy in the treatment of emphysema has recently gained sufficiently high confidence, because it shows excellent results in the elimination of respiratory failure points. Full course is 20 days.
Surgery is recommended for bullous emphysema. The essence of this treatment is to remove the bull. Such operations are performed via the classical and access (opening of the thorax) and the endoscope (through puncture the chest). Removal of bull hinders the development of dangerous complications such as pneumothorax. Traditional medicine in the treatment of emphysema provides various means for maintenance therapy. The most commonly used herbs that possess bronchodilator effect, relieve inflammation and improve lung tissue trophism, facilitate sputum discharge and so on. Also, people apply herbal remedies (Ashwagandha, Amalaki, Becadexamin, Ginseng, Gokshura and others) that promote the prevention of infections and supporting the activity of the immune system. The basic conservative methods of treatment of this disease are characterized by low efficiency, because unlike bronchitis, emphysema invokes irreversible structural changes in the lung tissue. In any case, the treatment of emphysema should deal exclusively with the physician. The disease is considered chronic, and patients have to take lifelong medications that support the basic functions of the respiratory system.
The prognosis of pulmonary emphysema
In the absence of adequate therapy disease prognosis is unfavorable, since the progression of the disease (the development of cardiac and respiratory failure) lead to disability. Also you should remember that emphysema is individual. In most cases, a lot depends on the patients themselves - how thoroughly and seriously they relate to the recommendations of the attending physician? Prognosis depends on the timely treatment, compliance with the doctor's advice and rightly chosen method of drug therapy as the main and concomitant diseases.