Emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, many patients are confused and think it is a disease. In fact, there are differences and connections between the two. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Emphysema refers to a pathological state in which the airway at the distal end of the terminal bronchiole (breathing bronchiole, alveolar duct, alveolar sac, and alveoli) has decreased, over-inflated, inflated, and increased lung volume, or accompanied by damage to the airway wall. . Emphysema is not an independent disease, but an anatomical or structural term that is the result of the development of chronic bronchitis or other chronic lung diseases.
Emphysema has a slow course, usually with a history of bronchitis or bronchial asthma, silicosis (silicosis). The clinical manifestations include cough and sputum, as well as hypoventilation and dyspnea. Initially, shortness of breath occurs only during work. As the disease progresses, shortness of breath and cyanosis may also occur when walking, talking, and dressing. Palpitations, headaches, lethargy, etc. Severe emphysema, the appearance of the chest is barrel-shaped, the auscultation is weakened, the exhalation is prolonged, cyanosis may occur when hypoxia, and some emphysema may develop into pulmonary heart disease. When the right heart is insufficiency, there may be manifestations such as tachycardia, distended jugular vein, and edema of lower limbs.
At present, the cause of emphysema is not clear. It is generally believed that smoking, air pollution, aspiration of harmful gases, poor working environment, and long-term inhalation of allergens are the triggers of emphysema.
COPD, short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a common, preventable and treatable disease characterized by persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation, usually due to airways caused by significant exposure to toxic particles or gases And (or) caused by alveolar abnormalities. In healthy individuals, bronchioles and alveoli are elastic. With each breath, the alveoli contract and expand like small balloons. For COPD patients, this process is not easy to occur, and only less gas enters the airway. This kind of airflow limitation usually develops progressively and is related to the abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to harmful gases or harmful particles. The disability rate and fatality rate are very high. The global incidence rate of people over 40 years old has reached 9% to 10%.
COPD is characterized by chronic and progressively worsening dyspnea, cough, and expectoration. COPD is often associated with other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, etc.
It is clinically believed that when patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema pass a lung function test and find that the airflow is restricted and cannot be completely reversible, they can be diagnosed as COPD. It can be seen that emphysema belongs to COPD.
There is no way to cure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including emphysema), but active intervention can slow the progression of the disease, control and improve symptoms. Specific measures include-
1. Drug treatment. The drug treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema can be combined treatment of inhaled drugs and oral drugs, usually: ① bronchodilators, these drugs are usually inhaled, can relax the muscles around the lungs and relieve symptoms of cough and shortness of breath; ② sugar Corticosteroids, oral or inhaled corticosteroids can prevent the further deterioration of COPD; ③ Antibiotics, because patients are very sensitive to lung infections, antibiotics are needed to treat bronchitis or pneumonia caused by bacteria.
2. Pulmonary rehabilitation treatment. The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to improve the quality of life and reduce the frequency and length of hospitalization. Methods include: ① sports training, mainly refers to body endurance training, local muscle training; ② breathing muscle exercise, through balloon blowing, candle blowing, abdominal muscle training, and general breathing gymnastics to enhance respiratory muscle strength and endurance; ③ Breathing training, you can practice lip-respiratory breathing (slowly exhale for 4-6 minutes by puffing the cheeks and lip-shrinking), abdominal breathing (when exhaling, the contraction of the abdominal muscles helps the diaphragm relax, and it lifts as the intra-abdominal pressure increases, increasing the exhalation Air volume; when inhaling, the diaphragm contraction decreases, and the abdominal muscles relax to ensure the maximum inhalation volume) and so on.
3. Life care. There are things that patients can do to improve their health, including: quit smoking; eat healthy; exercise moderately; remove airway mucus by controlling cough and hydration; stay away from harmful gases; take medication as prescribed by a doctor and review regularly.
4. Surgical treatment. For severely ill patients, surgery may be an ideal way to improve the quality of life and control disease symptoms. Surgical treatments include lung transplantation, lung volume reduction surgery, and bullous resection.