1. What is emphysema?
Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) which causes difficulty in breathing. It damages the alveoli or the air sacs of the lungs thus reducing the amount of surface area which causes a decrease in the oxygen availability to the blood. Patients suffering from emphysema may also suffer from chronic bronchitis.
2. Are there different types of emphysema?
There are three major types of emphysema based on the morphology. Centriacinar emphysema which usually affects the upper half of the lungs is mainly attributed to smoking. Panacinar and paraseptal are the other two types, the former is associated with a genetic disorder while the latter is associated with infection and inflammation.
3. What are the different causes of emphysema?
Emphysema is attributable mainly to smoking and is thus an easily preventable disease. In rare cases, emphysema can be caused due to a genetic disorder.
4. What are the symptoms and signs of emphysema?
Common symptoms of emphysema include a gradual shortness of breath. If it worsens causing tremendous breathing problems, turning nails and lips bluish gray after exercise or exertion, it is recommended to consult a doctor at the earliest.
5. Can emphysema be cured completely?
Though emphysema cannot be cured, it is possible to prevent further damage through medication that can provide symptomatic relief and can slow down the progression of emphysema.