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Definition of «Emphysema»


Emphysema: 1) A lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air in the lung's many tiny air sacs, a tissue called alveoli. As air continues to collect in these sacs, they become enlarged, and may break, or be damaged and form scar tissue. Emphysema is strongly associated with smoking cigarettes, a practice that causes lung irritation. It can also be associated with or worsened by repeated infection of the lungs, such as is seen in chronic bronchitis. The best response to the early warning signs of emphysema is prevention: stop smoking and get immediate treatment for incipient lung infections. Curing established emphysema is not yet possible. Because patients don't have an adequate amount of space in the lungs to breathe, they gasp for breath, and may not be able to obtain enough oxygen. Those with severe emphysema usually end up using an oxygen machine to breathe. In some cases, medication may be helpful to ease symptoms or to treat infection in already-damaged lungs.

2) The escape of air into other body tissues, as may occur during surgery. This is called surgical emphysema.

For More Information «Emphysema»

  • emphysema: Definition from Answers.com

    Library > Literature & Language > Dictionary ( ĕm ' fĭ-sē ' mə, -zē ' - ) n. A pathological condition of the lungs marked by an abnormal increase in the size of ...

  • Emphysema - MayoClinic.com

    Emphysema — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of this serious lung disorder.

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  • Emphysema Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment by eMedicineHealth.com

    Information about emphysema causes and risk factors like cigarette smoking, air pollution, asthma, gender, and age. The most common symptom of emphysema is shortness of ...

  • Emphysema

    Emphysema is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). ... Instant Lookup Access over 10,000 topics by title ...or, search within full reference content