Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema

Topics: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Asthma, Emphysema Pages: 4 (1243 words) Published: August 25, 2013
Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are similar diseases which affect the lungs; neither are curable; however, there are treatment options which help one live life normally. There are treatments that can help control the symptoms, progression and effects of both of these chronic diseases. While these two chronic diseases are similar in many ways, there are also many differences in terms of effects and treatments. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are both considered to be COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). * Cigarette smoke is the main cause of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic Bronchitis is caused by smoking and secondhand smoke. Smoking causes chronic bronchitis over a period of time, it is not an immediate response to smoking. When smoke is inhaled, it irritates and inflames the bronchial tissue and airways. This irritation causes the overproduction of mucus that blocks the bronchial tubes. The human body’s natural way of clearing the airway is to cough, this cough is referred to as smokers cough, smokers cough is productive in expelling mucus from the lungs. Non-smokers also can be diagnosed with this disease from exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than actually smoking. The smoker has a filter in which they breathe the smoke through, while a non-smokers breathes the raw unfiltered smoke. Emphysema is caused by directly smoking cigarettes. From the very first time a smoker lights up, they are causing damage to their lungs. The longer an individual smokes, the more damage is done. This damage is irreparable and leads to emphysema. When the cigarette smoke is inhaled into the lungs the chemicals attack the air sacs, causing them to lose elasticity and shape. When elasticity is lost the lungs overinflate and the diaphragm flattens causing breathing to become rapid and inefficient. When air sacs are damaged, it makes it harder for them to separate carbon dioxide and oxygen. Leaving the body deprived of the...
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