Diagnosis - Pneumology

Emphysema

Emphysema is caused by the destruction of the tiny air sacs that make up the microstructure of the lungs and it is a factor in the advancement of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is the main cause of emphysema. Emphysema reduces the number of air sacs in the lungs and therefore the oxygen that is breathed in can not effectively be transported to the bloodstream. An additional complication of emphysema is a reduction in the elastic properties of the lungs which usually serve to hold the airways open. This leads to a collapsing of the airways when breathing out and an accumulation of air in the lungs. Treatment for emphysema can often slow down the disease progression but does not reverse the process.