Emphysema is incurable, but it can be managed and treated. People diagnosed with this condition can get help managing this using emphysema medications. It is a destructive disease for thousands of North Americans and their families.
A person with emphysema doesn’t develop the disease suddenly. It comes on gradually. Over the last few years, they have experienced severe colds in winter with persistent coughing and sometimes even chronic bronchitis.
Coughs often linger between bouts of colds, gradually becoming chronic over time. The thing that usually brings the patient to the doctor is that he or she has begun to feel short of breath on exertion in the morning or evening or both. The individual may suspect they are suffering from asthma or a cardiovascular illness.
Men aged between 50 and 70 years old are the most common sufferers of emphysema, though expect this trend to change as more women find themselves smoking. A very high percentage of people who have emphysema smoke cigarettes and have been heavy smokers for many years. Sometimes, people live in areas with a lot of air pollution.
These people may have a certain substance missing from the lungs i.e. alpha-1 antitrypsin. This puts them at a higher risk for developing emphysema, as well as getting it at a younger age.
You have to stop smoking because it increases your chances of getting emphysema. This disease requires you to take bronchial dilators so as not to have further lung damage. You’ll also need medication for asthma because it often occurs and contributes to the worsening of the disease.
Common medications for emphysema include antibiotics. They are helpful for acute chest infections. Some patients benefit from oxygen therapy, either when exercising or on a nearly continuous basis.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a condition suffered by a few patients, and for them, regular infusions of alpha-1 antitrypsin can be beneficial. This type of emphysema treatment is extremely expensive and its efficacy in reducing the progress of the disease is still unknown. Doctors often encourage patients to stay active and exercise regularly in order to remain physically fit. For instance, they may suggest a respiratory rehabilitation program to someone with emphysema as well.
At this time, doctors do not know how to prevent emphysema. Scientists and researchers all over the world are putting in their efforts to uncover answers and gain insight into this illness. But they do know that cigarette smoking is a definite cause and that cutting out smoking can avoid damage for many who would otherwise develop the disease. Controlling air pollution can also help.
Modern medicine can usually slow down the progress of emphysema if patients are treated early. It is always the doctor’s immediate concern to clear up any infection or irritation of a patient’s respiratory system because these things set up a possible starting place for emphysema.
If Emphysema concerns you, you should know:
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