Emphysema

Emphysema

What is “Emphysema”

Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The main cause of emphysema is smoking. Other causes that people are not aware of include inhaling toxic smoke.

Causes

  • Inhaling of dust, gas or small chemical particles
  • Both smoking cigarettes or inhaling secondhand smoke or residuals from it such as tobacco smoke odor on clothes and sofas.
  • Genetics can be another cause of emphysema as some people have genetic abnormalities, which cause ineffectiveness of lung function. People with lung abnormalities since young have a higher risk of emphysema.

Symptoms

  • Patients with emphysema have difficulty breathing, especially when moving the body or exerting force during delivering a child.
  • Have persistent cough with phlegm
  • Wheezing along with chest pain
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Experience fatigue
  • Lips or fingernails turn purplish-blue
  • Suffer from depression

People who develop emphysema have increased risk of bronchitis and other lung infections. Too much air trapped in the lungs can give some patients a barrel-chested appearance.

Prevention

  • Avoid breathing secondhand smoke, dust, and toxic substance

Stop smoking. If working under a condition that requires exposure to dust, wearing a standardized mask is advisable.

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From Bangkok Hospital Phuket

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