Emphysema of lungs is a disease of the respiratory tract, characterized by the development of the pathological process in the lungs, which causes a strong expansion of the distal bronchioles, accompanied by a violation of the gas exchange and the development of respiratory failure.
To date, the incidence of this disease has increased significantly, and if earlier it was found mainly among persons of retirement age, today people aged 30 years old are affected by it( men with emphysema are twice as likely to get sick).Moreover, the disease( in combination with asthma and obstructive bronchitis) belongs to the group of chronic lung diseases that have a progressive course, often become the cause of temporary disability of the patients or lead to their early disability. At the same time, such a disease as emphysema of the lungs is characterized by the fact tha
One of the characteristics of emphysema of the lungs is that as a separate nosological form it occurs only in a small percentage of patients. In most cases, emphysema is a final pathological process that occurs against the background of severe morphological lesions of the bronchopulmonary system, which manifest themselves after such diseases as:
In addition, emphysema of the lungs can be caused by prolonged smoking or inhalation of some toxic compounds of cadmium, nitrogen or dust particles that are floating in the air( for this reason this disease is often found in builders).
Under normal conditions, gas exchange in the human body takes place in the alveoli - these are "small bags" pierced by a large number of blood vessels located at the end of the bronchi. During the inhalation, the alveoli are filled with oxygen and swell, and when exhaled, they contract. However, with emphysema of the lungs, certain abnormalities occur in this process - the lungs are stretched too much, their tissue becomes denser and loses its elasticity, which leads to an increase in the concentration of air in the lungs and causes a disruption in their functioning. With the passage of time, emphysema of the lungs progresses, which manifests itself in the development of respiratory failure, so it is necessary to start treating it as early as possible.
Depending on the causes that lead to the development of the pathological process in the pulmonary tissue, lung emphysema is classified into:
There is also bullous emphysema of the lungs, which is characterized by the fact that it proceeds imperceptibly, is often found already at the stage of pneumothorax( accumulation of air in the pleural cavity) and requires immediate surgical intervention, the prognosis of development is unfavorable( often leads to the patient's death).
When talking about the main symptoms of emphysema of the lungs, doctors first of all mention:
At the very beginning of emphysema of the lungs manifested by shortness of breath, which first arises during sports( mainly in the winter) and is characterized by inconsistency, and then disturbs the person at the slightest physical effort. Characteristic signs of the disease include the fact that patients make short breaths with closed lips and inflated cheeks, and also pay attention to the fact that during the inspiration, the muscles of the neck are involved( in the normal state this should not be).Also, emphysema is accompanied by coughing, chest pain and weight loss( the latter is explained by the fact that patients spend too much energy on maintaining the normal functioning of the respiratory muscles).
Patients often occupy the forced position of the body on the abdomen( the head is lowered down), because this position brings them relief, but this is in the first stages of the disease. As the emphysema of the lungs develops, changes in the chest prevent patients from being in a horizontal position, as a result of which they even sleep in the sitting position( this facilitates the work of the diaphragm).
Diagnosis of pulmonary emphysema should be exclusively handled by a pulmonologist who makes a primary diagnosis based on patient examination and auscultation of pulmonary breathing using a phonendoscope. These are the main diagnostic methods, but they do not allow to make a complete clinical picture of the disease, therefore,
The main methods of treatment of emphysema are as follows:
Surgical treatment of emphysema of the lungs is indicated only if the disease occurs in the bullous form, and it boils down to the removal of bullae - air-filled thin-walled blisters that can be localized in any part of the lung( it is almost impossible to see them in the photo).The operation is performed by a classical and endoscopic method. The first method involves surgical opening of the chest, and during the second the surgeon conducts all necessary manipulations with the help of special endoscopic equipment through small incisions on the skin. The endoscopic method of removing bullae in emphysema of the lungs will cost more, but this operation has a shorter rehabilitation period.
The main number of conservative methods of treatment of this disease is not very effective, because unlike bronchitis, lung emphysema causes irreversible structural changes in the pulmonary tissue. The prognosis depends on the timeliness of the treatment started, the observance of the doctor's recommendations and the correctly selected method of drug therapy for both primary and secondary diseases.
In any case, the treatment of emphysema of the lungs should only be dealt with by a doctor. The disease is considered chronic and the patient has to take lifelong medications that support the basic functions of the respiratory system. Life expectancy of people with emphysema depends on the degree of damage to the lung tissue, the age of the patient and the individual characteristics of his body.
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