FAQ - pulmonary emphysema
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What is the difference between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema?


Will COPD turn into emphysema?
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COPD is a term used to describe a number of respiratory diseases, of which emphysema is one of them. Chronic bronchitis is another one of them. Emphysema is a chronic pumonary disease, usually caused from smoking.. Chronic means it has taken years to develop to the point where you notice it is harder to breathe. Over years of smoking the alveoli (tiny airsacs in the lung) become damaged and what we call overdistended and they can not function properly. If empysema progresses it can lead to needing supplemental oxygen use at all times. Emphysema/COPD can not be cured but you can slow the progression by quitting smoking and taking the medications prescribed by your physician .  (+ info)

How is gaseous exchange affected in: Pulmonary fibrosis, asthma and emphysema?


Gas exchange take place between alveoli and capillaries. Due to the above conditions, the space between the alveolar membrane and the capillary get increased. In fibrosis and emphysema this space is occupied by scar tissue so gas exchange is afftected.
Thanks  (+ info)

Questions regarding pulmonary emphysema?


What is pulmonary emphysema? What factors predispose to its development? How may it be prevented? what is the difference between pulmonary emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis?
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The only genetic predisposition to emphysema is alpha 1 antitripsin deficiency, other than that anyone that inhales material foriegn to the body is capable of developing emphysema. Macrophages in your lungs eat at the foriegn material and secrete substances that destroy the elastin and collogen in your alveoli. This decreases the area in your lung that oxygen and carbon dioxide cross into and out of the blood.

The main preventative effort is to not smoke as smoking is the #1 cause of emphysema and chronic bronchitis (COPD).

Fibrosis is another monster in itself. Its when the area between the alveoli (air sacs) and the capillaries (blood vessels) becomes thicker. This also makes it hard for oxygen and CO2 to diffuse in and out. But it is a different catagory of disease.

Hope this helps,
Jerry

PS, The Mayo clinic has a good definition for Emphysema :

Emphysema is a progressive lung disease that results in shortness of breath and reduces your capacity for physical activity.

The cause of emphysema is damage to the small air sacs and small airways in your lungs. This damage obstructs airflow when you exhale.

When emphysema is advanced, you must work so hard to expel air from your lungs that just the simple act of breathing can consume a great deal of energy. Unfortunately, because emphysema develops gradually over many years, you may not experience symptoms such as shortness of breath until irreversible damage has already occurred.

Have a Good Day!  (+ info)

Can a pulmonary function test rule out Emphysema 100%?


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What is pulmonary emphysema?


Can you die overnight without even knowing you have it?
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No. If you have emphysema, you know it..

Pulmonary Emphysema is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing and cough with sputum. Eventually the lungs fill with sputum and the sufferer cannot get enough air. It is a ghastly disease for which there is no cure.  (+ info)

Can you have early emphysema with a normal ("unremarkable")pulmonary function test?


unlikely, but never say never. if its very early, may be near normal. usually its an obstructive pattern, with reduced FEV1 and FVC, low FEV1/FVC ratio and reduced DLCO that does not correct with lung volume.  (+ info)

How to tell if you have asthma or emphysema?


If two different doctors listened to your lungs and diagnosed you with asthma and you passed a pulmonary function test would you still be able to have emphysema instead?

I smoked all of my teen years and I'm now 20 and I can't breathe good and I'm worried it's emphysema because I'm not responding well to my Proair inhaler the doctor prescribed me. I need some time of comfort.
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What are the subtle feelings in the early stage of emphysema?


I have been seen by two pulmonary specialists. They seem to feel the shortness of breath, fear across the upper chest on expiration and trickle feeling in lungs that intefers with breathing out when is due to stomach contents leaking out of stomach during sleep. I can bring up sputum, but not spit it out to examine it. In past two years, it has gotten worse
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What u r telling me about your symptoms doesn't make any sense but the onset of SOB after mild exertion and a history of smoking a lot and if u want to get technical u could ask your Dr. for a recommendation to a PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) lab where they can get a better look at you. Don't forget, everyone is different so your symptoms might be different too, so go to your Dr. and ask for a PFT and that SHOULD tell u if u have emphysema.  (+ info)

pulmonary emphysema is it a communicable desease?


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what does a pulmonary lung function test consist of?


I have severe asthma and emphysema, and now the doc has ordered this test for my lungs...
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All they ask you to do is blow into a tube until they tell you to stop. They measure the amount of oxygen you take in compared to the amount that you breath out. Totally painless. They try to find out what the capacity of your lungs are. Only takes about ten minutes.  (+ info)

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