Effects of Emphysema

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Treatment of Emphysema
Quitting smoking is the single most important factor for maintaining healthy lungs
Bronchodilator drugs prescribed by a doctor
Exercise including breathing exercises
Treatment with Alpha I-Proteinase Inhibitor for persons with AAT deficiency-related emphysema
Lung transplant
Prevention of Emphysema
Regular checkups with a doctor
Do not smoke
Maintain good health habits overall (proper nutrition, adequate rest, regular exercise)
Reduce chances of possible exposure to air pollution
Causes of Emphysema
Cigarette smoking
Deficiency of a "lung protector" protein known as alpha 1-antitrypsin
Symptoms of Emphysema
Shortness of breath
A limited exercise tolerance
Emphysema is a condition in which there is over-inflation of structures in the lungs known as alveoli. The walls between the alveoli within the lungs lose their ability to stretch and recoil. Lung elasticity is lost, which causes air to get trapped in the alveoli impairing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Furthermore, airflow obstruction occurs when the support of the airway is lost.
Normal Alveoli
Emphysematous Alveoli
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