COPD- Emphysema and Lung Disease From Smoking: Warning Signs and Symptoms- Our Experience
Still Want To Smoke?
What is Emphysema and COPD
If you smoke, I highly recommend reading this. Smoking can cause emphysema and COPD. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) COPD is a progressive disease of the lungs.
Emphysema happens when lung tissue is destroyed and causes shortness of breath, causes wheezing and coughing up mucus. I have seen people with emphysema have to carry a roll of paper towels with them because they are coughing up mucus all day or because of the chronic bronchitis which is also a part of COPD.
Emphysema is part of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A good way to think about what emphysema is, is to think about a brand new sponge you just got. You use it a few times, and the sponge starts to deteriorate a little. If you use the same sponge over and over, it starts to break down. It starts to get large holes and kind of stringy and pulled apart. That's what your lung looks like with emphysema.
The over-used sponge is a way to think of your lungs now. Air flow is affected and also blood flow.
Remember: Emphysema is permanent-it doesn't go away once you get it. You can help the symptoms and get treatment, but it's permanent.
I am going to have to be honest if I am going to write you this article. I myself, am a smoker. Yes, I know; my bad. I know people that have emphysema, and let me tell you, it's a nightmare. Wondering whether they are going to choke in their sleep or suffocate in their own mucus is always a wonder. I have known someone that passed away from suffocating in their sleep because she wasn't able to cough up the mucus.
Perhaps this article will not only help you, but help me too. Not only does smoking lead to emphysema and COPD, it can also lead to other cancers. Such as throat cancer, cervical cancer and more.
Picture Of A Normal Chest X-Ray
Picture of Emphysema In The Lung
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
There are two (2) main types of COPD which is an obstruction of the airway that happens because of emphysema or chronic bronchitis, (or sometimes both). This disease doesn't just happen overnight, it progresses over time. The coughing of mucous will generally get worse over a period of years from the emphysema and COPD.
Chronic Bronchitis is also a part of COPD. Chronic bronchitis is normally a daily cough with spitting up of mucus. Normally, if you have emphysema, you have the chronic bronchitis. They go hand in hand. With the bronchitis, your lungs swell and get inflamed, which makes it harder for you to breathe because it narrows or obstructs the airways.
Symptoms of Emphysema
Symptoms are not easily recognized at first because like I said earlier, it is a slow and gradual process; so they may not be known for years to come. However; there are some signs you can watch out for. There is not a cure for Emphysema, but if you know the signs earlier, then you may have a better treatment outcome. Here is what to watch out for:
Shortness of Breath
Chronic Coughing (not always with mucus)
- Weight Loss because of loss of appetite
Trying to Open Lungs Using Breathing Exercises
My mom, had to of course quit smoking; I am also a trying to quit (again). I have been using the Nicoderm for about 2 weeks and it has helped! It's more of the hand-to-mouth that I miss, so I may consider vaping or purchasing suckers.
There is no cure for COPD, but there are ways to improve your quality of life by trying to prevent the symptoms that comes along with it.
- Quit Smoking!
- Oxygen Therapy
You will need to exercise to keep your lungs working. Your Dr. will tell you which treatment is best for your disease.
Let's recap to clarify any confusion:
Emphysema is part of COPD
Chronic Bronchitis is another part of COPD