Emphysema, along with chronic bronchitis is grouped under the more general term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Emphysema is a condition in which the air sacs in a person's lungs burst. This leads to difficulty in breathing as there is reduction in the surface area of the lungs.
When a person has difficulty with breathing, there is scarcity of oxygen in the body. The vital organs in the body do not receive sufficient oxygen as they should. This can prove to be fatal as it can result in injury and sometimes death.
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In this condition, the harm done to the lungs is irreversible. With regular health care, proper treatments and changes in lifestyle, the signs of emphysema can be restrained and the development of the disease may be slowed down.
The treatment target for people living with emphysema is to control signs to a degree that enables them to feel better and live normally and to sleep comfortably.
It is also essential to asses and remove or minimize exposure to potential lung problems that may also result in the development of emphysema.
In order to treat and prevent emphysema, one must stop smoking. It is also essential to eliminate or minimize exposure to possible lung irritants which could lead to or worsen emphysema.
While using chemicals and substances that might be harmful for the lungs, following the instruction manual for the safe utilization of substances, including wearing appropriate masks, is essential.
Emphysema can also be treated with drugs, including bronchodilators and corticosteroids, which are inhaled into the lungs utilizing a device called an inhaler. Bronchodilators help to unwind the lower airways in the lungs and open them up to allow in more oxygen.
Moderate to severe emphysema, which leads to low levels of oxygen inside your blood, also can be treated with oxygen treatment, wherein additional oxygen is administered through a mask. Supplemental oxygen might help relieve the difficulty in breathing and ensure that the vital organs, like the heart and the brain, get sufficient oxygen.
It is also essential to prevent common ailments which could severely complicate emphysema and become life threatening.