What happens when you have emphysema?

What happens when you have emphysema?

What happens when you have emphysema?

In emphysema, the inner walls of the lungs’ air sacs (alveoli) are damaged, causing them to eventually rupture. This creates one larger air space instead of many small ones and reduces the surface area available for gas exchange. Emphysema is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath.

What organs are affected by emphysema?

Emphysema primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other organs and systems, including the heart, muscles, and circulatory system, as the disease progresses. In addition to respiratory symptoms, emphysema can also lead to exercise intolerance and muscle atrophy.

What are the symptoms of emphysema in the lungs?

There may be no symptoms for a long time and you may not know that you have emphysema. As the emphysema in your lungs becomes worse then symptoms will develop. The main symptoms of emphysema are shortness of breath and a cough, which usually begin gradually.

Can you have emphysema for many years without noticing?

You can have emphysema for many years without noticing any signs or symptoms. The main symptom of emphysema is shortness of breath, which usually begins gradually. You may start avoiding activities that cause you to be short of breath, so the symptom doesn’t become a problem until it starts interfering with daily tasks.

What is the outlook for people with emphysema?

Outlook for emphysema. The outlook for people with emphysema depends on the severity of the condition and how early they start treatment. The earlier you start your treatment, the better your outcome. Lung damage from emphysema is irreversible. But you can slow the progression and improve your quality of life.

What are some of the treatment options for emphysema?

Supportive therapy includes oxygen therapy and help with quitting smoking. The sections below will look at some specific treatment options in more detail. The main medications for emphysema are inhaled bronchodilators, which can help relieve symptoms. They relax and open the airways, making it easier for a person to breathe.

How can you identify the symptoms of emphysema?

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Bringing up phlegm (if chronic bronchitis also is present)
  • Tightness feeling in the chest
  • Barrel-like distended chest
  • Constant fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Morning headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling of the ankles

    What are the early signs of emphysema?

    Early Symptoms of Emphysema. You can have emphysema for years and not know it. But there is one major symptom and it usually starts slowly: shortness of breath.

    What are the dangers of emphysema?

    A collapsed lung can be life-threatening in people who have severe emphysema, because the function of their lungs is already so compromised. This is uncommon but serious when it occurs. Heart problems. Emphysema can increase the pressure in the arteries that connect the heart and lungs.

    What is the prognosis for severe emphysema?

    50% of those with severe emphysema live longer than four years after diagnosis. The life expectancy for those with very severe emphysema is less. The stage of the illness when the diagnosis is made is important for emphysema treatment and life expectancy.