Respiratory disorders bronchitis and emphysema

Bronchitis and emphysema are respiratory diseases that fall under the so-called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). These conditions cause narrowing of the airways. Unfortunately, COPD cannot be cured and usually only occurs in old age, but can also manifest itself earlier due to heredity.

Respiratory diseases are the fourth or fifth cause of death

COPD is considered the fifth leading cause of death worldwide and is expected to rise further in the list of causes of death. In fact, the WHO (World Health Organization) considers COPD to be the fourth most fatal condition, after heart attacks, cancer and stroke.

COPD with shortness of breath and sometimes half the oxygen supply

With COPD, the lungs are constantly full of small inflammations. A patient suffering from COPD often has shortness of breath, for example when dressing and climbing stairs or when performing work. Compared to healthy people, they often only manage to inhale and exhale about half the amount of oxygen. As a result, extra oxygen is sometimes necessary.

Deterioration from pollution, coal dust, toxic fumes and smoking

The respiratory system can be affected by several factors. This can be the case by breathing polluted air, but also by coal dust and toxic fumes. As everyone knows, but not everyone takes it into account, smoking is also very bad for the lungs.

Constriction of airways

In COPD, the transport of air to the lungs is made difficult by the narrowing of the airways. This narrowing usually only occurs after the age of about 45 and cannot be reversed. If this narrowing is a result of years of smoking, it is also referred to as smoker’s lung.

Chronic lack of oxygen

If the airways come into contact with bad air for a long time, they become irritated and inflamed. With inflammation for a long time, the walls of the airways swell. They can then become clogged due to mucus formation. A step further in this process, the alveoli can also become inflamed and small cavities develop in the lungs. The result is that the lungs lose their elasticity and less oxygen can be absorbed. The functioning of people who suffer from this suffers from a chronic lack of oxygen.

Lost lung tissue

To improve the quality of life of these patients, the symptoms can be controlled with medicine. These agents ensure that the airways widen and have an anti-inflammatory effect. However, the lost lung tissue does not return due to the use of the medications.

Further descriptions of bronchitis and emphysema

  • Bronchitis: is an inflammation of the larger airways between the trachea and the alveoli. The condition comes in two forms: acute and chronic bronchitis. The acute form of the condition often occurs after a cold or flu. In bronchitis sufferers the symptoms of a cold are much worse than in other people and are often accompanied by fever. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by phlegm-causing cough and breathing difficulties. This form of COPD disease often occurs in smokers and never disappears completely.
  • Pulmonary emphysema: is a condition in which more and more alveoli disappear from the lungs. After inhaling, the alveoli ensure that oxygen enters the blood. When the alveoli are reduced, less and less oxygen will enter the blood, causing shortness of breath. Like bronchitis, emphysema mainly occurs in smokers, but can also be caused by breathing in toxic or other bad substances for years. Like bronchitis, emphysema never goes away, but good treatment can prevent the condition from worsening.

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