Preventing and Treating Emphysema – Symptoms Example

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"Preventing and Treating Emphysema" is a great example of a paper on symptoms. The author discusses Emphysema and begins with an illustrative story of a woman who relies on oxygen support. The patient cannot live her normal life because of the disease’ s adverse effects that are permanent, but her doctor explains that the disease is manageable. Definition of Emphysema: Emphysema is a chronic disease that impairs the lungs and results from reactions to harmful substances that degenerate alveoli. This causes difficulty in breathing as is realized in other “ chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases” that are a major cause of death in America (Lewis, 2009, p.

9). Causes: Cigarette smoking and inhalation of polluted air, with dust and fumes, cause the disease (Lewis, 2009).   Symptoms and signs: Major symptoms are short breaths, “ coughing, wheezing, and chronic mucus” (Lewis, 2009, p. 10). The diagnosis however relies on historical examination of a patient’ s reported symptoms and is facilitated by diversified tests that are currently available (Lewis, 2009). Treatment options: Ceasing to smoke is the most preferred management measure because it reduces the disease’ s progression and severity.

Medicinal treatments, such as the application of albuterol and anti-inflammatory medicines, oxygen support, lung surgery, and transplant are some of the available clinical measures against the disease. The medicines suppress the effects of the disease while oxygen support supplements oxygen supply to a victim’ s body. Surgery and transplant however replace the affected organ or its portion to facilitate normalcy (Lewis, 2009). The future: Very limited success has been achieved in treating emphysema and early detection remains the best step for effective management. Existing management practices are however sufficient to sustain patients and improve their quality of life (Lewis, 2009). Inherited emphysema: The disease is also hereditary and this form is characterized by a lack of alpha 1-antitrypsin protein in an infant’ s body.

The hereditary form can however be controlled by introducing the protein into the victim’ s body (Lewis, 2009).              


Lewis, C. (1999). Every breath you take: preventing and treating emphysema. FDA Consumer 33(2), 9- 13.
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