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Special Report on Emphysema and Chances of a Cure and Survival

damaging and life threatening negative changes to lung condition attibutable to smoking  

Unsurprisingly, there's an Extremely Strong Smoking Connection to Lung Disease and Getting Emphysema. Do You Want Lungs Like that Right Lung!

stop smoking now to avoid getting emphysema and copd disease

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smoking causes COPD and Emphysema lung disease

Learn all you can about emphysema symptoms, treatment options, signs of lung damage and stages-of-emphysema today . It's never too late to stop-smoking or trying to stop emphysema advancing to late-stage.

It may or may not be possible to stop emphysema's progression. With that said, for at least 50% of people emphysema is diagnosed late and already in stage-2 or stage-3, or worse. Due to late diagnosis, average life expectancy is only 5-years.

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Emphysema is an extremely serious and life-threatening chronic lung disease involving damage taking place over time to lung air-sacs, which lung damage of course effects breathing quite negatively. Emphysema involves an ongoing and progressive damage and destruction of your lung tissues.

With advanced-stage emphysema or severe emphysema large air-cysts develop where normal lung tissue was before. Air gets trapped in the lungs due to lack of support tissue, which in-turn lowers blood oxygen more and more over time.

stop smoking now to avoid getting emphysema and copd disease

Smoking accounts for at least 85% of all people who pass-away attributable to emphysema and/or copd disease, lung disease, lung cancer and COPD. Far and away cigarette smoking is the number-one cause of emphysema, lung cancer and lung failure. When exposed to cigarette smoke, the air sacs in the lungs produce defensive cells, called macrophages, which "eat" the inhaled particles which are stimulated to release materials destroying proteins which allow lungs to expand and contract, called elastin and collagen.

By quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke you can prevent the occurrence of emphysema and at least slow-down the lung disease down if it's already underway. Other changes to your environment, such as avoiding smog and air pollution, may also help prevent the development of emphysema, or at least keep it from worsening. If helping people recover is something you're interested in, consider getting a degree in nursing.

After a lot of medical research and news for a long time, most of us are well aware cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. Cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco causes over half a million Americans each year to pass-away accounting for 1 of every 5 premature demises. Emphysema via smoking is fatal to lots of smokers!

Lung cancer is just the first in a long list of tobacco related serious (often fatal) health issues and chronic diseases, which include "emphysema" a very serious and often chronic medical condition. Even skin may be damaged by smoking.

Most people do not know long-term cigarette smoking also causes premature aging of skin. Many of the 4,000 plus chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers giving skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely due to smoke damage from smoking.

It's also widely believed smoking contributes significantly to arteriosclerosis and heart disease, including the onset of early heart disease. There is a considerable amount of researched evidence of other health conditions caused directly by smoking, which medical research and the gathering of doctors evidence is ongoing. Emphysema and Lung Cancer are being researched intensely with the latest nano-technology research but until now there are unfortunately no verified major medical break thru's to report at this time.

Welcome to emphysema.org health information source about emphysema symptoms and treatment for your health Please stop smoking NOW

Emphysema & Lung Disease - Medical Overview

An emphysema related condition is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (aka COPD), an acronym for a group of diseases which cause progressive damage to your lungs. These diseases include chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. Of the approximate 20-million plus Americans with C.O.P.D. it is estimated well over 3-million have symptomatic emphysema and millions more are in the early stages of the chronic lung disease before easily recognized signs and lung disease symptoms become obvious.

expect lifetime trouble breathing-in unless you stop smoking NOW   expect future trouble breathing-out for-life unless you stop smoking NOW

Unlike asthma, which occurs when the muscles in your airways tighten, emphysema causes a loss of tissue elasticity in the walls of your lungs. Eventually, the walls stretch and break, creating larger, less efficient lung air sacs that aren't able to handle the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Click-here for Health Tip-of-the-Day.

When emphysema is advanced, you must work so hard to expel air from your lungs that breathing becomes difficult and breathing can consume 20-percent or more of your resting energy.

Notice how left lung looks more damaged vs right on emphysema x-ray

Unfortunately, because emphysema develops gradually over the course of many years, you may not experience typical emphysema and lung disease symptoms such as shortness of breath until irreversible lung damage has already occurred. Instead of an emphysema cure, emphysema treatment focuses more on relieving emphysema symptoms and avoiding serious complications.

The main signs and symptoms of emphysema are shortness of breath, breathing difficulty and lower activity and exercise abilities, both of which are likely to become worse as emphysema disease progresses. In time, you may have trouble breathing even when lying down and be especially hard to breathe during and after respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.

More information

May 31 is world-wide no smoking day Other signs and symptoms of emphysema include:

When you inhale, air travels to your lungs through two major airways called bronchi. Inside your lungs, the bronchi subdivide like the roots of a tree into a million smaller airways (bronchioles) that finally end in clusters of tiny air sacs (alveoli). You have about 300 million air sacs in each lung.

Within the walls of lung air sacs are small blood vessels (capillaries) where oxygen is added to your blood and carbon dioxide — a waste product of metabolism — is removed. The air sac walls also contain elastic fibers to help them expand and contract like small balloons when you breathe.

What Are the Negative Effects of Emphysema?
Emphysema causes lung inflammation which slowly but surely destroys the delicate walls of the lung air sacs, causing them to slowly lose elasticity. As a result, the bronchioles collapse, and air becomes trapped in the air-sacs, which over stretches them and interferes with your ability to exhale (hyperinflation).

In time, this over-stretching may cause several air sacs to rupture, forming one larger air space instead of many small ones. Because the larger, less-elastic sacs aren't able to force air completely out of your lungs when you exhale, you have to breathe harder to take in enough oxygen and to eliminate carbon dioxide.

The process works something like this: Normally, you exhale in two ways, actively and passively. When you exert yourself and need more oxygen, your chest muscles contract, forcing air out rapidly. On the other hand, when you sit quietly, your diaphragm contracts and your chest muscles expand to take air in, but your muscles don't contract to let air out. Instead, the elastic tissue around your air-sacs contracts, and your lungs can shrink in size.

But if you have emphysema, many elastic fibers have been destroyed and you must consciously force air out of your lungs. The forced exhalation compresses your small airways, making breathing and expelling air even more difficult.

#-1 Cause is Smoking
Cigarette smoke is by far the most common cause of emphysema and other serious lung conditions. The damage begins when tobacco smoke temporarily paralyzes the microscopic hairs (cilia) that line and protect your bronchial tubes.

Inhaler's help emphysema patient breathing Normally, these hairs sweep irritants and germs out of your lungs and airways. But when smoke interferes with this sweeping movement, irritants remain in your bronchial tubes and infiltrate the alveoli, inflaming tissue and breaking down elastic fibers.

Low Protein also Has a Role
In a small percentage of people, emphysema results from low levels of a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt), which protects the elastic structures in your lungs from the destructive effects of certain enzymes. A lack of AAt can lead to a progressive lung damage resulting in emphysema.

AAt deficiency is a hereditary condition that occurs when you inherit two defective genes, one from each parent. Although severe AAt deficiency is rare, millions of people carry a single defective AAt gene. Some have mild to moderate symptoms others have no symptoms at all. Carriers are at higher risk of lung and liver problems and may pass the defect to their children.

People with two defective genes have a high likelihood of developing emphysema, usually between ages 30 to 40. The progression and severity of the disease are greatly exacerbated by smoking.

Experts recommend people with early-onset emphysema — especially those who don't smoke or have other risk factors for the disease or who have a family history of AAt deficiency — be tested for the defective gene. People who have genetic pre-disposition AAt deficiency should also have close family members tested.

Emphysema Screening and Diagnosis

To diagnose emphysema, your doctor will recommend health tests, including:

When to consult with your healthcare provider

Ask your doctor if any of the following are applicable:

These signs and symptoms don't necessarily mean you have emphysema, but they do indicate your lungs may not be functioning well and should be evaluated by your doctor as soon as possible.

Self-care for Emphysema

If you have emphysema, you can take a number of steps to halt its progression and to protect yourself from its complications:

Coping with Emphysema and Deep Breathing Exercises

Some simple exercises can improve your breathing if you have emphysema or another chronic lung disorder. They help you control the emptying of your lungs by using your abdominal muscles. Do them 3 to 5 times daily.

Diaphragmatic breathing
To perform this type of breathing exercise, take these steps:

Practice diaphragmatic breathing on your back until you can take 10 to 15 consecutive breaths in one session without tiring. Then practice it on one side and then on the other. Progress to doing the exercise while sitting erect in a chair, standing up, walking and climbing stairs (if possible).

Pursed-lip breathing
Try deep-breathing exercises with your lips puckered — the flow of air should make a soft "sssss" sound. Inhale deeply thru mouth and exhale. Repeat 10 times a session.

Deep-breathing exercise
While sitting or standing, pull your elbows strongly back while deeply inhaling. Hold the breath in with your chest arched, for a count of 2 to 4 seconds, then force the air out by contracting your abdominal muscles hard. To achieve the optimum benefits from deep breathing exercise you should repeat this lung health exercise routine 10 or more times, several times a day.

A special thanks to The Mayo Clinic and its Foundation for Medical Education and Research, who contributed some content to Emphysema Organization website.

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