Emphysema Essay, Research Paper
Emphysema There is a disease in the world today which is responsible for 2.0 million American deaths. This disease ranks 9th among chronic conditions that contribute to activity limitations. This is Emphysema. Emphysema is a condition where there is an over-inflation of alveoli or air sacs. Over the years it the numbers of deaths have been raising. This is due to the increase number of smokers today. This paper will give an analysis about Emphysema, the causes, symptoms, and treatment. Emphysema is a widespread disease of the lungs. The lungs of people with emphysema are in horrible shape. The alveoli are distended and there is a destruction of the partitions between alveoli and loss of a alveoli. The exact cause and mechanism producing emphysema is not known, but it is commonly associated with cigarette smoking and chronic bronchitis. Lungs affected by emphysema show loss or degeneration of elastic tissue, disappearance of capillary walls, and breakdown of the alveolar walls. The air sac first stretched and then tends to disintegrate. The lung therefore becomes filled with large pools of air and loss of elastic support around small airways. Basically, it severely interferes with expiration. It is known from research that a normal lungs has a balance between two classes of chemicals with opposing action. The elastic fibers in the lung allow the lung to expand and contract. When the chemical balance is altered, the lungs lose the ability to protect themselves against the destruction of these elastic fibers, This is what causes emphysema. The are a number of reasons that this chemical balance might occur. Smoking is responsible for 82 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema. It is also estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 Americans living today were born with a deficiency of a protein known as alpha 1-antitrypsin ( A.T.T). This can lead to an inherited form of emphysema called alpha 1-antitypsin deficiency-related emphysema.
Emphysema always gives constant symptoms to their victims. There is a severe breathlessness upon exertion, loss of weight, and swelling in the extremities. The skin takes of a bluish color from lack of sufficient gas exchange. They develop tightness in the chest and extreme wheezing. The disease is the most common and crippling of respiratory diseases. There is no cure for this deadly disease yet, but doctors can help their patients live more comfortably. The treatment involves providing relief of symptoms and preventing progression of the disease, both with minimum side effects. Quitting smoking would be the best way to regain somewhat healthy lungs. Bronchodilator drugs are also usually prescribed to treat emphysema, when there is a tendency toward airway constriction or tightening. A cheap and easy way to strengthen the muscles used in breathing as part the lungs rehabilitation program to condition the rest of the body is simply exercise. Continuing research is being done to find more answers about emphysema. Emphysema is a very deadly disease. Hopefully, within the next ten years a cure for it can be found. Until then, it is important to not smoke, maintain good health habits, exercise, and reduce the air pollution intake. Follow these simple precautions and do not become one of 2 million people each year to develop emphysema.