The respiratory system is a very important and vital part of the body. If we can’t breathe properly, of course our quality of life will be affected. Well, one of the diseases that attack the respiratory system is emphysema. What causes emphysema and what are the symptoms?
Before going deeper, it is important to understand that our lungs function to exchange oxygen from the air with carbon dioxide from the blood. Lungs play a very important role in our health, so we must really maintain lung health.
There are several types of health disorders that are prone to attack the lungs. One of them is emphysema. Then what is emphysema and what are the symptoms that we need to watch out for?
Related Article: Want to Stay Healthy Lungs? Consume These 15 Foods
What is Emphysema?
Emphysema is a lung disease. The disease is most common in smokers, but can also occur in those who regularly inhale irritants.
Emphysema is one type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in addition to bronchitis. People with emphysema will experience alveoli or air sacs in the lungs that weaken until they finally burst. This condition reduces the surface area of the lungs and the amount of oxygen that can reach the bloodstream.
Unlike the normal conditions of the alveoli, when we exhale, the damaged alveoli do not function properly so that old air remains trapped in them and fresh air cannot enter.
This disease causes sufferers to have difficulty breathing and difficulty doing physical activities such as exercising. In addition, emphysema also causes the lungs to lose their elasticity.
Related Article: Smoking or Not, Beware of These 8 Early Symptoms of Lung Cancer
What Causes Emphysema Disease and Symptoms of Emphysema Disease?
The main cause of emphysema is smoking. The more you smoke, the higher your risk of developing emphysema.
According to data from the American Lung Association, of the 480,000 cases of death in America due to smoking, 80% of them are caused by lung damage including emphysema. In addition, passive smokers also have a risk of developing the same disease, as do those who live or work in high polluted areas.
Emphysema is not a contagious disease, so you can’t get it from other people and infect other people.
Sometimes this disease also appears without noticeable symptoms. It is possible that an emphysema sufferer does not realize he has emphysema without realizing it. Here are some symptoms of emphysema disease to watch out for.
- Excessive tiredness
- Weight loss
- Heart beat
- Bluish gray lips or nails due to lack of oxygen
Related Article: Causes of Wet Lungs in Children and How to Prevent It
How to Prevent and Treat Emphysema Disease
The disease is incurable and treatment is aimed at slowing its progression and minimizing the symptoms experienced. The first thing to do to prevent and treat the symptoms of emphysema is to stop smoking and stay away from chemicals and fumes from harmful substances.
If you suspect that you or another family member has enphysema and exhibit the symptoms listed above, you should immediately consult a doctor. Various tests such as X-rays of the lungs, measurement of the oxygen content in the blood, and lung function tests will generally be performed.
Early detection of emphysema disease is very important, because this disease can develop a life-threatening condition and damage the lungs and heart.
Patients with emphysema will be advised to take medication to relieve symptoms such as bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics. Lung therapy or light exercise such as walking, yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing exercises that can strengthen the respiratory muscles are also recommended.
In some severe cases of enphysema, 24 hours a day oxygen therapy and surgery may be required to remove a small part of the damaged lung or a lung transplant.
People with enphysema tend to be underweight so it is advisable to eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E such as fruits and vegetables to improve overall health.
Those are some things you need Parents Learn about the causes, symptoms and how to treat emphysema. Love our lungs by quitting smoking because it is the most important organ for our overall health.