Last updated:01-20-2009
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Definition and causes

Lungeefysem defined as a permanent extension of the airspace of those areas of the lungs where the exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen occurs. These areas are calledalveolerneor lung bladders and is the last branches of the airways. The expansion is due to degradation of the elastic alveolevægge. There is also degradation of blood vessels. This means that the lungs become stiffer, and set up the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen between blood and air, and hence lack of oxygen occurs in the rest of the body.

Lungeemfysem counted together with chronic bronchitis and asthma to the group ofobstructivelung diseases. It is also one of the two diseases (the other is chronic bronchitis), which together or separately leads COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), also calledsmokers' lungs.
Lungeemfysem seen almost exclusively in smokers. The toxic substances in the smoke, which leads to alveolevæggene dismantled. Lungeemfysem may also be developed as a result of chronic bronchitis, pollution or long-term exposure to dust. Moreover, long-standing asthma and certain genetic disorders lead to the development of lungeemfysem.


Symptoms of lungeemfysem

The most common symptoms are:


  • Shortness of breath (dyspnoea).

  • In addition, there may occur pibende breathing, coughing and opspyt of mucus. In these cases, probably due to the condition chronic bronchitis or asthma.


Precautions and diagnosis

As mentioned almost always caused by smoking, emphysema, and the best precaution is not to smoke.


Lider Monday of breath, you should always consult a doctor. The doctor will listen to the lungs and make a lung function study. There is also an X-ray of the chest. This is done to rule out other diseases of the lungs. By pronounced emphysema seen lungs to be higher than normal on X-ray image (emphysema described therefore among thelarge lungs).


Treatment of lungeemfysem

Lungeemfysem can not curable. Smoking cessation may halt further development of the disease, but the reduced lung function can not be recycled. In addition, avoid areas with a very atmospheric.

The other obstructive lung diseases can be treated by inhalation of medicines, which extends the bronchi, but this treatment has little or no power at lungeemfysem. For very advanced disease may be required oxygen therapy at home. This requires quit because oxygen due to explosion not offered smokers.


Select and complications

When emphysema is udåndingen by increased resistance, while it is normal or reduced resistance by inhalation. This leads to inadequate emptying of the lungs, and that at all times is an increased amount of air into the lungs. Chest expanded gradually, and pronounced emphysema can thorax appear barrel-shaped.


Due to deterioration of lung tissue has an increased risk that the lungs flaps together (pneumothorax).

At the very reduced lung function is a disease associated with increased mortality. If you stop smoking, and the disease is not too advanced, it is possible to live many years with lungeemfysem and have good quality of life without many restrictions.

See related articles:

Smoking and smoking cessation

Chronic bronchitis

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Prevention of COPD

Prevent COPD with smoking cessation

Prevent COPD with exercise and weight loss





Related articles:

Acute Bronchitis
Allergic alveolitis
ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
Bronkiektasi (Bronkieudvidelse)
Chronic Bronchitis
COPD (Chronic Obstruktiv Lungesygdom, Rygerlunger)
Empyem in lungehulen (Lungehulebetændelse)
Interstitielle lung diseases
Lung absces
Lung cancer
Lungs and respiratory passages
Pneumoconioses, Asbestosis
Pneumonia (Pneumonia)
Pneumothorax (Lungecollapse, Ruptured lung)
Sarcoidosis (Morbus Boeck)
Water in the lungs (Pulmonary oedema)



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