Emphysema is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It is most commonly found in people who smoke, although there are other causes as well. Pollution has been linked to emphysema as well. Emphysema is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. An individual with emphysema will have trouble breathing, since the air sacs in their lungs are not in good working condition.
There are several common symptoms that people with emphysema can have. The most common symptoms are wheezing, labored breathing, fatigue and coughing. When an individual has emphysema, the body has to work overtime to make up for the fact that the lungs can not. A person might find that any activity causes them to have difficulty breathing.
Emphysema Life Expectancy:
The life expectancy of a person with emphysema depends mostly depends on the stage that they are in. People who are diagnosed with emphysema in the early stages have a much better, if not normal life expectancy; people who are diagnosed late will have a much shorter life span. In fact, people in the later stages of emphysema typically only live for a few years. Various treatment will depend on what stage of emphysema a person is in.
Not every type of emphysema is deadly. Subcutaneous emphysema is simply the medical term for air bubbles that might get trapped under a person's skin. This might happen after a puncture wound. Usually, an individual will not need treatment. The body can usually re-absorb the air.
A person's emphysema prognosis depends on several things. The most important is what stage of emphysema an individual is in. Other factors that affect the prognosis are the age of the person who has it and whether or not they smoke. Smokers who quit will usually have a better prognosis than those who decide not to.
Surgical emphysema is essentially the same thing as subcutaneous emphysema. It is called surgical emphysema because people are most likely to get it after surgery. Usually no treatment is needed since it can be more of a harm than a help. A typical treatment for an individual who has surgical emphysema might be cutting into the skin to release the air. However, this could lead to infection. Usually, an individual's case of surgical emphysema will clear up on its own.
Bullous emphysema refers to air that gets trapped in the lungs and can not release itself. These air bubbles can burst or rupture. This type of emphysema can be deadly and have similar symptoms to regular emphysema. Difficulty breathing and mucus build up are two common occurrences for people with Bullous emphysema.
Stages of Emphysema:
The first stages of emphysema will not require as much treatment as the later stages. When one is first diagnosed, they might need minimal treatment if they are only in stage one or two. The point of treatment is to stop the disease from progressing through the stages. It can not be cured.