What is it?
Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema. The smallest airways in our lungs are called bronchioles. At the end of these bronchioles are the alveoli, tiny sacs where oxygen is traded for carbon dioxide. in emphysema, these sacs are destroyed, making breathing difficult.
How do I recognise it?
Emphysema symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Reduced capacity for physical activity
- Chronic coughing, which could also indicate chronic bronchitis
- Loss of appetite and weight
The causes of emphysema include:
- Protein deficiency. Sometimes, a lack of a certain protein which provides the alveoli with elasticity can cause emphysema.
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
When you come to a Lynch's Pharmacy Clinic, we give you all the necessary information available to make your life more manageable and allow you to better live with your condition.
COPD, information for patients http://www.cks.nhs.uk/chronic_obstructive_pulmonary_disease/background_information
Emphysema, a comprehensive overview http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emphysema/DS00296