Emphysema is a form of chronic (long-term) lung disease. People with emphysema have difficulty breathing from a limitation in blowing air out. There are multiple causes of emphysema, but smoking is by far the most common. Emphysema is one of the main types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s called “obstructive” because people with emphysema exhale as if something were obstructing the flow of air. The other form of COPD is chronic bronchitis, which can also be caused by smoking. Although emphysema has no cure, quitting smoking reduces the speed at which the disease gets worse. Emphysema gradually damages the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs, making you progressively more short of breath. Emphysema is one of several diseases known collectively as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema. Your lungs' alveoli are clustered like bunches of grapes. In emphysema, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and eventually rupture — creating one larger air space instead of many small ones. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and, in turn, the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream. When you exhale, the damaged alveoli don't work properly and old air becomes trapped, leaving no room for fresh, oxygen-rich air to enter. Treatment may slow the progression of emphysema, but it can't reverse the damage. 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. Emphysema eventually causes shortness of breath even while you're at rest. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease symptoms are as follows: • Coughing up more mucus than usual. • A change in the colour or thickness of that mucus. • More shortness of breath than usual. • Greater tightness in your chest. These attacks are most often caused by infections-such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia-and air pollution. Work with your doctor to make a plan for dealing with a COPD flare-up. If you are prepared, you may be able to get it under control. Try not to panic if you start to have a flare-up. Quick treatment at home may help you manage serious breathing problems.
No outcome found in Brazil. Worldwide, COPD affects 329 million people or nearly 5% of the population. In 2013, it resulted in 2.9 million deaths up from 2.4 million deaths in 1990. The number of deaths is projected to increase due to higher smoking rates and an aging population in many countries. It resulted in an estimated economic cost of $2.1 trillion in 2010. Globally, as of 2010, COPD affected approximately 329 million people (4.8% of the population). The disease affects men and women almost equally, as there has been increased tobacco use among women in the developed world. The increase in the developing world between 1970 and the 2000s is believed to be related to increasing rates of smoking in this region, an increasing population and an aging population due to less death’s from other causes such as infectious diseases. Some developed countries have seen increased rates, some have remained stable and some have seen a decrease in COPD prevalence. The global numbers are expected to continue increasing as risk factors remain common and the population continues to get older. Between 1990 and 2010 the number of deaths from COPD decreased slightly from 3.1 million to 2.9 million and became the fourth leading cause of death. In 2012 it became the third leading cause as the number of deaths rose again to 3.1 million. In some countries, mortality has decreased in men but increased in women. This is most likely due to rates of smoking in women and men becoming more similar. COPD is more common in older people, it affects 34–200 out of 1000 people older than 65 years, depending on the population under review.
Emphysema can't be cured, but treatments can help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Medications: Depending upon the severity of your symptoms, your doctor might suggest: • Bronchodilators: These drugs can help relieve coughing, shortness of breath and breathing problems by relaxing constricted airways, but they're not as effective in treating emphysema as they are in treating asthma or chronic bronchitis. • Inhaled steroids: Corticosteroid drugs inhaled as aerosol sprays may help relieve shortness of breath. Prolonged use may weaken your bones and increase your risk of high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes. • Antibiotics: If you develop a bacterial infection, like acute bronchitis or pneumonia, antibiotics are appropriate. The therapeutic methods are: • Pulmonary rehabilitation. A pulmonary rehabilitation program can teach you breathing exercises and techniques that may help reduce your breathlessness and improve your ability to exercise. • Nutrition therapy. You'll also receive advice about proper nutrition. In the early stages of emphysema, many people need to lose weight, while people with late-stage emphysema often need to gain weight. • Supplemental oxygen. If you have severe emphysema with low blood oxygen levels, using oxygen regularly at home and when you exercise may provide some relief. Many people use oxygen 24 hours a day. It's usually administered via narrow tubing that fits into your nostrils. The surgical methods are: • Lung volume reduction surgery. In this procedure, surgeons remove small wedges of damaged lung tissue. Removing the diseased tissue helps the remaining lung tissue expand and work more efficiently and helps improve breathing. • Lung transplant. Lung transplantation is an option if you have severe emphysema and other options have failed.