Emphysema is a lung disease in which tissues needed to support the lungs are destroyed. Emphysema is one of the several diseases known collectively as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Emphysema is most often caused by smoking.

1,304 Questions

What blood components decreased when you have anemia?

Decreased component depends on the type of anemia, but generally, anemia indicates a decrease in iron levels in the blood. However, you can have anemia with normal blood tests for iron.


What is the main ingredient of cigarette which causes emphysema and cancer?



Can Emphysema be reversed?

Emphysema is a serious and chronic disease that cannot be reversed

Pulmonary Health

What is emphysema?

A pathological diagnosis defined as the permanent destructive enlargement of the air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles, resulting in loss of alveolar surface area and reduction of oxygen exchange. Scarring of the lungs, usually caused by pollutants. At one point it was determined that over 95% of all people with emphysema were smokers. Just about everyone else had been working in an environment that had severely toxic pollutants. Smoking causes a temporary paralysis of the cilia in the lungs. Cilia are the fine, hair-like structures that are constantly in motion to move toxic particles out of the lungs. When the cilia are paralyzed, toxic particles can stay in one place and cause irritation. The irritation eventually turns to scar tissue and/or cancer. Smoking one cigarette can cause paralysis of the cilia for about an hour. It's as though cigarettes were specifically designed to cause emphysema. They have the toxic stubstances and they have a method of keeping the substances in contact with the lungs.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus; Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time.


If one has very mild emphysema what can one do to allay breathlessness?

Check this website under treatment


Below is an answer related generally to mild emphysema.

It is also helpful to know that by stopping smoking you can improve the long term effects of Emphysema, other factors such as pollution, aerosols, work and hobby related dusts like wood and cement can also irritate your lungs, suitable face masks are available and should under health and safety be supplied by employers.

If you have asthma it is important you speak to your health care professional and ensure that it is kept under control.

Disability Insurance

How do you get Disability Insurance for a 64 year old with emphysema in Missouri?

I doubt you can get it. I suggest that you contact the National Assoc. of Health Underwriters and find a local agent near you.

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Why does the arterial Po2 decrease with emphysema?

emphysema is a condition of loss of elasticity of the alveoli where exchange of oxygen and Co2 occurs. The alveoli cannot efficiently exchange oxygen for Co2 so Co2 builds up in the blood. It is usually caused by chronic smoking but can be caused by other diseases/conditions.


Why does a person with emphysema sometimes use a portable oxygen tank?

Because their lungs are full of tar and death.


What do lung cancers and emphysema have in common?

Both are caused by smoking.

Acids and Bases

How can emphysema lead to acid-base balance?

I am too assume you are asking imbalances because normally the body balances acid-base

This is a very complex process.

there are four main types of acid-base imbalance in the body.

Respiratory Acidosis (Low pH)

Metabolic Acidosis (Low pH)

Respiratory Alkalosis (High pH)

Metabolic Alkalosis (High pH)

Respiratory means that the imbalance is caused by the lungs

Metabolic means that the imbalance is caused by the cells in your body

In emphysema {or a form of chronic(long-term) obstructive(blocking) pulmonary(involves the lungs) disease(abnormal condition in body) or COPD}

the lungs cannot properly remove CO2

(oxygen is breathed in, used by cells in your body and the cells release carbon dioxide or CO2 as waste which is breathed out)

Emphysema(COPD) is the destruction of the elastic tissue in the thousands of little are sacs in the lungs. Because the sacs can no longer push the CO2 out of the lungs the CO2 gets trapped and builds up.

when CO2 builds up short term it will caused increased breathing rate (CO2 tells your brain to breath faster when it builds up)

when CO2 builds up long term the blood will compensate through chemically changing the CO2 into other chemicals

CO2 + H2O <--> H2CO3 <--> HCO3- + H+ (equilibrium equation)

Once the CO2 Builds up long term it will cause the above chemical equation to change the CO2 eventually into HCO3- and H+ .

H+ will increase in the blood as more and more carbon dioxide is converted.

pH simply measures the amount of H+ ions in an exponential numbering system

the more the H the lower the number (i know its the opposite of what you would think)

When the pH gets low (or H ions in the blood gets to high) this can cause

Respiratory Acidosis (lung/breathing caused acidic blood)

the body can only operate in a narrow pH range of 7.35-7.45

If the blood goes above or below it can cause serious trouble and eventually put someone into a coma or cause death

people with COPD develop increased CO2 over such a long period of time that the body will slowly become use to the high CO2 in the lungs but the person would still be at risk for this type of imbalance.

Because CO2 tells your brain to make you breath faster (not a lack of oxygen)

people with COPD experience the need to breath faster especially when moving around a lot or exercising more frequently. NEVER EVER should a COPD or emphysema patient receive more than 2L/min (Metric) of oxygen while on oxygen therapy. Increasing the oxygen in the lungs will force CO2 out but this could cause the brain to say "well there is less CO2 so i don't need to breath as much" and this could cause a person's breathing to slow so much that they may stop breathing all together.


What is surgical emphysema?

air trapped in the tissues following an invasive procedure

Conditions and Diseases

What does emphysema feel like?

Emphysema is a chronic lung condition in which a person is unable to get enough oxygen (O2) and unable to expel enough carbon dioxide (CO2) However, this O2-CO2 exchange problem is very unique-- it cannot be helped or cured by simply giving more O2.

In normal healthy lungs, the lungs and brain work together. When the brain senses high CO2 building up, it triggers us to take a breath to get O2 and to expel air to release CO2.

But, in emphysema, the brain and lungs get used to the fact that the blood contains higher CO2. If an emphysema patient is given high O2, such as 8 liters per minute, the person can stop breathing. *Therefore, it is important that paramedics and hospital workers know the patient has emphysema so that supplemental oxygen delivery is kept around 2 liters per minute.

You've asked what it feels like to have emphysema. First, it is scary because the person cannot get enough air no matter what they try. Most patients have to sit up all the time, including to sleep. Lying down makes the person feel like they have a pillow over their mouth and nose; the person feels like they are suffocating. When people feel like they are suffocating, they panic (normal reaction), so they fight to get upright if someone tries to put them flat on a bed.

As the disease progresses, the lungs fill with a sticky thick mucous. The lungs react by initiating coughing to remove the mucous. The person coughs up thick phlegm that is hard to cough up and out. The lungs don't contract as well, even in coughing, so no matter how much the person coughs, they still feel the lungs are clogged. If the thick mucous is low, deep down in the lungs near the aveoli (where O2 and CO2 exchange takes place), the person can feel like they are drowning. Again, the normal reaction to a "drowning feeling" is panic and "fighting to get air".

The person's face will often turn red when they are coughing. The exertion does not help the lack of air situation. They will also start sweating profusely during heavy coughing. Nights may often be sleepless because of coughing and because it is hard to rest sitting up.

The person may not want to move much because it's hard to get air. Shortness of breath often is present with mild exertion. Just to walk a few feet to the bathroom feels too hard. So people with emphysema don't like to drink much since then, they'd have to urinate. The decreased fluids make the mucous thicker and harder to cough up the phlegm.

The person's life becomes one centered on "getting air". Many patients detest heat because it's harder to breathe. Patients will even stand at an open door during winter, just to get "enough air". Many sleep with a fan directed on the face. Many need supplemental continuous O2 at home, so there is usually 1 to 3 O2 tanks in the home.

The patient's lips and nails may turn blue when O2 stats are down. Fingernails often grow rounded, blunted, and oddly shaped as a sign of low blood oxygenation.

Most patients feel embrarrassment because the condition makes them look and feel "different" from everyone else. Patients also feel "losses" because slowly, they have to give up things they normally do. Life is permanently changed when you can't breathe well.

Many patients feel humiliated when outsiders accuse them of getting emphysema from prior smoking of cigarettes, when some emphysema patients have never smoked even one cigarette. It is possible to develop emphysema from causes other than smoking. For example, many people who grew up with coal furnances to heat the home ended up with emphysema. Some occupations increase the exposure to lung irritants.

Many patients come to a resigned outlook about the condition. They know it will never improve. They know the disease will kill, whether from mucous plugging the airways, or from a secondary infection.


Does emphysema increase residual air volume?

Yes, it does. RV increases due to flow limitation that causes air trapping.

Respiratory System

Does emphysema decrease respiratory volume?


Public Health and Safety

What carbon monoxide tar nicotine emphysema and brochitis?

Emphysema is caused by smoking cigarettes, where smoke particulates, tar, and nicotine leads to a lung problem. Whenever the lung is inflammed, it leads to bronchitis, emphysema specifically relates to a lung, especially the tubes that connect the aveola tracks are blocked, from inflammation, and reduced immunity and hence breathing passages are blocked. Normally a mucus can clear most of the smoke particulates, nicotine goes into the blood stream, which leaves open tar that accumulates in the lung passages. To cure emphysema in my opinion is to find a component of safe natural solvents which dissolves these tar as the mucus has no way of getting rid of it and it sticks like a glue. The cure that I know when I was a student I found accidentally that by dissolving the lung tissue of emphysema (black in color from smoking), most of it is dissolve slowly. Hence, using nebulizers of 50% DMSO, and taking supplements of MSM, a close DMSO cousin will reduce the tar buildup due to emphysema. If you would like more info just go to website www dot earthclinic dot com for more answers. Ted from Bangkok.

Conditions and Diseases

Is emphysema contagious?

Emphysema is a non-infectious disease, which means that it is not contagious. You can get emphysema only by smoking, or in some rare cases, by heredity.

Medication and Drugs

Who is effected by emphysema?

Many people are affected by emphysema. Smokers by it destroying their bodies, and their friends and family by watching their loved one/ones getting sick.

Pulmonary Health

What does a person who has emphysema feel?

I can’t speak for everyone with emphysema but I personally feel like I’m letting everyone around me down because I’m always too sick or too tired to go out and do fun things with them. I feel out of breath for no reason and I find myself wondering what the end stage is going to be like when I’m only at stage 2 and already I feel this poorly. I also feel very much alone in this even though I know that it’s the 3rd leading cause of death in the USA.

Cardiovascular Health
Respiratory System

How does emphysema affect the respiratory system?

Emphysema is a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli. In people with emphysema, the lung tissue involved in exchange of gases is impaired or destroyed. Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Emphysema is called an obstructive lung disease because airflow on exhalation is slowed or stopped because over-inflated alveoli do not exchange gases when a person breaths due to little or no movement of gases out of the alveoli.

Emphysema changes the anatomy of the lung in several important ways. This is due to in part to the destruction of lung tissue around smaller airways. This tissue normally holds bronchioles open allowing air to leave the lungs on exhalation. When this tissue is damaged, these airways collapse, making it difficult for the lungs to empty and the air becomes trapped in the alveoli.

Lung Cancer

Why does lung cancer and emphysema affect the rate of respiration?

Lung cancer affects the rate of respiration, because if the cancer grows in the airway, it may obstruct airflow, causing breathing difficulties. Emphysema affects the rate of respiration because there is less oxygen in the blood and it causes shortness of breath.

hope that helps xx

Conditions and Diseases

How does emphysema happen?

Emphysema is caused by smoking.


What Is the Affect of Emphysema on Expiratory Reserve Volume?

Expiratory reserve volume is decreased in a patient with emphysema. This patient will struggle to breathe out because air is getting trapped within the lungs. There is also an increase of co2 in the blood because of the inability for the patient to exhale.

Conditions and Diseases
Pulmonary Health

Does emphysema kill you?

Yes, it does kill you but it can take years.

Blood Pressure

Explain how sodium affect the blood pressure?

You kidneys have the role of filtering your blood. The first step that occurs removes large proteins and red blood cells, however sodium is let through. Sodium is very important for regular body action and your kidneys are designed to reabsorb as much as possible back into the blood stream. This reabsorption of sodium creates a 'solvent drag' and because of osmosis (waters ability to flow to the area of highest solute concentration) more water gets dragged back into the blood stream. By decreasing the amount of sodium in the blood, there is less sodium being reabsorbed and because of that, less water. This leads to the water being excreted (urination). The relationship of volume to pressure is well know (think of a balloon filled with air and letting some air out, less pressure.) By decreasing blood volume you decrease blood pressure. There are drugs that physicians use that cause diuresis (increased urination) which can also be used to treat high blood pressure but decreased sodium intake is the preferred first step in treating high blood pressure.


How high would hemoglobin levels have to be to cause emphysema?



























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