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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Emphysema

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

A pulmonary disease characterized by persistent airflow limitation or obstruction that is not fully reversible, which is caused by either chronic bronchitis and emphysema or both.

Chronic bronchitis: inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It causes a chronic cough that is present for 3 months that often produces mucus in which other causes of chronic cough have been eliminated.

Emphysema: damaged to the air sacs of the lungs resulting in the lack of oxygen in the body.

Symptoms
  • Persistent cough usually worse in the morning
  • Increased mucus production or a productive cough
  • Shortness of breath or dyspnea
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Occasionally intermittent fever
Risk Factors
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke especially in childhood
  • Genetic factors: a1-antiproteinase deficiency.
  • Indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • Occupational exposure to e.g., cadmium and silica
  • Previous/underlying lung Infections
  • > 40 yrs old
Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Bronchodilators

  • Mainstay in management of the disease
  • Inhaled route is preferred over oral route due to faster onset of action and less adverse effects.
    • Beta 2-Adrenergic Receptor Agonists
      • Short Acting Beta 2 Agonists - Terbutaline, albuterol, salbutamol.
      • Long Acting Beta 2 Agonists - Formoterol, salmeterol.
    • Anticholinergics - Ipratropium, tiotropium

Corticosteroids

  • Reduce the incidence and severity of flare-ups.
    • Fluticasone, Beclomethasone

 

Other drugs used:

  • Theophylline
  • Phospodiesterase-4 Inhibitors

 

Treatment and Management
  • Stop smoking to improve longevity and quality of life.
  • Avoid exposure to irritants, including secondhand smoke and air pollution.
  • Wear suitable safety equipment when working in a dangerous environment.
  • Exercise regularly to improve lung function.

 

Other treatment options:

Smoking Cessation

  • Used in reducing the risk and delaying the progression of the disease for patients who are cigarette smokers.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

  • Improved overall health function.
  • Improvement in exercise capability.
  • Reduces symptoms including lessening in intensity of exacerbations.

Vaccination

  • Annual influenza and pneumococcal vaccination.
Home Remedies
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