Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has to do with damage to the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs and the air sacs.
12 million Americans are diagnosed with COPD annually. This is a life threatening lung disease.
Where this disease is concerned there is no normal care. Each one differs dramatically. Most patients do not seek the help of a physician until they are experiencing shortness of breath and are unable to do their normal daily activities.It is so important to seek medical care on the first onslaught of breathing problems or fatigue after regular activity. Early detection is important in avoiding worsening lung function.
The BODE system comes into play as a tool to measure the amount of lung impairment the patient may have. This will tell the medical provider and the patient how the impairment affects the body as a whole. And this will give the patient an idea as to life expectancy.
There will be a six minute walk test that will show exercise tolerance. THe major part of the test measures the amount of airway obstruction or forced expiratory volume in one second or FEV1.
The two major ways to slow lung function decline are to quit smoking and to avoid second hand smoke.