Emphysema – Its Three Major Symptoms

Emphysema is simply one of the many diseases that entail interference in the normal functioning of the lungs. The person’s lungs should be kept in its proper shape to prevent any interference. It is in the lungs where gases are interchanged and the blood is oxygenated.

Destruction of the lung tissue would mean a distortion of the lung shape and a malfunction in its usual processes. They will definitely lead to the sighting of some other symptoms, most of which we will be discussing. Be reminded, however, that you cannot expect to witness these symptoms all at once. Rather than simultaneous, the order of appearance of the symptoms would be more gradual or in sequence, with the minor symptoms making their presence felt, only to be followed by the graver ones.

The first thing you will observe if you are affected with the affliction known as emphysema is breathlessness. This is a sign that emphysema is definitely on the horizon. Since the lung tissue will be experiencing a gradual destruction, that means this disease will also take quite a while before it eventually turns into a full-blown lung disease. At first, it would take a major exertion before breathlessness sets in so it wouldn’t be associated immediately with the disease. If left unchecked, the disease would then have the patient experience bouts of breathlessness even when he does not exert any effort at all. If no intervention is done, a point can eventually come where the patient is breathless even when sitting or sleeping (when at rest). You can probably dismiss the early stages of the symptom as something that is just normal. The only time they decide to go for a consultation and get some treatment would be when things become worse and the symptoms become distressing.

If you have emphysema, you will also notice a bit of chest expansion going on. This is naturally caused by the disease’s tendency to make it difficult for the person to breathe freely. The chest would have to expand to noticeable extent in order to compensate for the lack of air and difficulty in breathing. Evidence for the expansion is normally found when the antero-posterior diameter measurement of the chest is taken, and compared with what would ordinarily be expected.

If the patient notices his skin adapting a bluish tinge, he is observing one of the major symptoms of emphysema. It is not only emphysema that manifests this symptom. Lung diseases that involve lack of blood oxygenation will be showing this symptom. The skin discoloration occurs gradually, meaning it will take quite a long time for the bluish hue to become noticeable. By the way, this symptom is what is known as cyanosis. Cyanosis, in the beginning, is barely noticeable. But if you don’t do a thing about your emphysema, it could become even worse; the bluish tint on the skin becoming even more glaring.

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