Different Causes of Emphysema
Smoking can lead to numerous maladies.
People who have spent a great portion of their lives smoking can
develop deteriorating ailments like lung cancer, chronic bronchitis,
mouth diseases, heart disease and strokes. Smoking is also one of
the main causes of emphysema, a progressive lung disease that shortens
your breath and hinders your physical activity. Emphysema occurs
when the small air sacs and small airways in the lungs are damaged.
Your lungs have approximately 300 million tiny air sacs called alveoli,
and when these are damaged due to inflammation, it obstructs the
airflow when you exhale.
Those causes of emphysema lead your body to go through the following:
There aren’t many causes of emphysema
but as previously stated, one of the most common causes of emphysema
is smoking. Tobacco tends to paralyze the cilia in the body, which
are tiny hairs on the walls of the bronchial tubes that work to
brush out dirt, and toxins from the lungs. When they are paralyzed
they are unable to sweep out the germs and debris and it instead
clogs up the tubes, irritates them and inflames them. Protein deficiency
is also on the short list of causes of emphysema. Although only
a small amount of people develop emphysema from protein deficiency,
it can happen. The protein alpha-1-antitrypsin protects the elastic
structures of the lungs and from destructive enzyme effects. When
the body doesn’t have enough of this protein, it can lead
to progressive lung damage.
- Once the walls of your air sacs are destroyed
from the inflammation, the air sacs lose their elasticity.
- This causes the airways to collapse, which
leads to your air becoming trapped in the air sacs.
- When this happens your air sacs are overstretched
and they interfere with your ability to exhale.
- Your air sacs are usually small, but when
they are overstretched they rupture causing the formation of
one large air sac. When the air sacs are large, they aren’t
able to expel air from your lungs as well. This leads you to
have to breathe in harder and deeper in order to fill your lungs
with an adequate amount of oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide.
Consult your physician if you smoke and have begun to notice deterioration
in your breathing and physical abilities. Talk to your doctor about
the causes of emphysema.