Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema

The lungs of human beings has always been considered as one of the most important organs in the body. Breathing can be attributed to the normal functioning of the pair of lungs existing in our body. Due to the negative factors that we are exposed to, the body is able to contact diseases that slows down the mechanism, and the normal functioning of the body. Chronic Bronchitis and emphysema are two of the lung diseases that inhibit the lungs from working properly. These two diseases come together and are known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The said disease causes wheezing and breathlessness among patients. Asthma, on the other hand, is not attributed with COPD (American Lung Association, 2006). The Pulmonolgy Channel website stated that constant tobacco smoking causes eighty to ninety percent of the cases attributed with COPD. In addition to this, inflammation of the lungs is stimulated through the inhalation of tobacco smoke, causing the constriction of the airways, and destruction of the alveoli. The same website defines Emphysema as the destruction of the alveoli walls accompanied by its enlargement.

The decrease in elastic recoil of the lungs is due to the disruption of the alveolar wall, causing the constriction of the alveoli when exhaling. The lungs, for this particular instance, are also larger, making it difficult for the exchange of oxygen from the alveoli to the capillaries to occur. Signs and symptoms of such disease includes dyspnea, wheezing, hemoptysis, weight loss and edema. These result from the body’s struggle to counterweight the damage caused on the respiratory system (Pulmonology Channel, 2008).

When experiencing these symptoms, the patient must immediately seek the doctor’s opinion to prevent any further damage. On the contrary, Chronic Bronchitis, as defined by the American Lung Association, is the scarring and inflammation of the bronchial tube lining. The inflammation causes less air flow, accompanied with coughed up mucus. The mucus-producing cough that goes on for months to years is the main symptom accompanying this disease. In addition to this, constant production of mucus is due to the irritation of the bronchial tubes.

The tubes are then thickened, with air flow hampered and the lungs scarred. The scarring then becomes a host for bacterial infections to multiply, resulting to impeding airflow. Unlike emphysema, chronic bronchitis does not immediately show signs and symptoms. These usually become visible when the individual/patient is on the advance stage of the disease. By the time the symptoms are detected, much damage has already been caused in the respiratory system, particularly in the lungs.

This may then lead to the threatening on the life of the patient, and may also lead to more complications associated with the disease (American Lung Association, August 2006). COPD, in general, may be treated through the oral administration of antibiotics, bronchodilators, and mucolytics. Others, take a different treatment and opt for more complicated treatments, such as Pulmonary Rehabilitations, nutritional diets, and even Lung Transplantations.

The best treatment that should be given is to stay away from the agents that bring such diseases—smoking tobacco, cigarettes, and the like.

References (2008). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pulmonology Channel. Retrieved March 27, 2008 from . http://www. pulmonologychannel. com/copd/index. shtml (2006). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) fact sheet. American Lung Association. Retrieved March 27, 2008 from http://www. lungusa. org/site/pp. asp? c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35020

Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; it is over inflation of structures in the lungs. Examination of the lung of someone with emphysema reveals distinct abnormalities. The tiny air sacs are gone. The delicate alveolar airexchange mechanism …

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