Emphysema is a chronic condition that develops when the linings of the air sacs in your lungs become severely damaged, causing airflow obstruction and breathing problems. This condition and chronic bronchitis are the two main types of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Although there is no cure for emphysema, treatment such as quitting smoking and oxygen therapy can help reduce the symptoms and progression of the disease.
What are the causes of emphysema?
Emphysema develops gradually over time and is caused by two main factors.
1- Long-term exposure to environmental irritants, including tobacco use, secondhand smoke, air pollutants, dust, and chemical fumes.
2- Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency: AAT is a naturally occurring protein found in human blood that protects the lungs’ elastic structures. Your white blood cells will damage your lungs if you have this deficiency.
How is emphysema treated?
Depending on the severity of your emphysema, our doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Inhaled bronchodilators can be prescribed to open the lung’s restricted airways and reduce symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.
- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as corticosteroids can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and relieve shortness of breath.
- Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat bacterial infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
- Other medications can be prescribed to treat coughing and wheezing symptoms.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation program to show you breathing exercises that can help improve the muscles used for breathing.
- Nutritional therapy that focuses on helping you lose or gain weight, depending on the stage of your condition.
- Oxygen therapy to improve your symptoms by increasing your low blood oxygen levels.
- Surgery to remove damaged lung tissue. Our surgeon will remove small wedges of damaged lung tissue, which allows the remaining lung tissue to expand and perform more efficiently, improving your breathing.
- Lung transplant. It may be an option if you have significant lung damage and all other treatments have failed.
There are a few things you may do to slow down the disease’s course and protect yourself against complications, such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It is also beneficial to get all needed vaccinations, avoid respiratory irritants, and see our doctor for follow-up appointments.
Schedule your appointment at Novomed today!
If you have symptoms of emphysema, make an appointment with our expert pulmonologist in Dubai to learn more about your condition and treatment options.
Book your consultation today by calling toll-free 8006686 or clicking the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.