Emphysema Symptoms
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Emphysema Symptoms ... Recognise the Warning Signs

Before we look at the symptoms of emphysema, let's first look at what it is and it's effects. In the case of smokers, this is a chronic disease that in the majority of cases, could have been totally avoided. At the very least further lung damage could have been eliminated if smokers were made aware of Emphysema Symptoms and the life changing health implicactions that it brings.

Below are some of the questions that this site will try to answer with new articles to be added as soon as possible....

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Emphysema is a disease of the lungs, primarily caused by smoking. The lung tissue, which is normally spongy and rather elastic and contains hundreds of millions of tiny air sacs, called alveoli. These are responsible for the absorption of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide from the body. It's these tiny air sacs that are attacked and destroyed by emphysema. Consider a sponge with all its tiny holes, when squeezed and released it has the ability to absorb water fast and hold it efficiently. By comparison a rubber ball with one or even several holes, when squeezed and released has slow and inefficient absorption. When thousands or millions of individual air sac walls in your lungs are destroyed, they effectively become larger and lose their likeness to a sponge and become more like the rubber ball. As a result of this loss of lung tissue, the lungs lose their ability to function normally, resulting in one of the early symptoms of emphysema, a shortness of breath.

As with most smoking related diseases, emphysema symptoms develop slowly and usually by the time deteriorating health is noticed a lot the damage has already been done. It's also worth considering, emphysema sufferers also have a shorter life expectancy than the general population.

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Emphysema Symptoms: recognising early symptoms may prevent a more severe condition if recognised in the early stages.

The most common symptom is shortness of breath
Coughing caused by a mucus build up
Your ability to tolerate any strenuous exercise is limited
The ability to inhale and exhale becomes more difficult.

Some statistics you may not want hear. Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for men is the fourth cause of death in the United States and Australia and sixth for women. Not to mention the debilitating effects that sufferers have to endure for many years, often leading to hospitalisation.

Emphysema Treatment

If you are a smoker, you need to quit smoking immediately. The benefits can be seen in even the most chronic cases. The body struggles to repair the damaged lungs, but stopping further damage can do a lot towards improving the quality of life of a COPD sufferer. There are several medical options and treatments, such as prescribed drugs and quit smoking pills (the list is long) that over time can help improve lung function and reduce the symptoms. In severe cases surgery may even have to be considered. If you are concerned that you may have Emphysema Symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible, but regardless, if you are a smoker, do you and your family a favour, and make a real effort to quit smoking.