Emphysema - Definition

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Definition


There are two types of emphysema. Pulmonary emphysema is a pathology characterized by the progressive destruction of pulmonary tissue. It leads to an increase in the volume of the lungs which, in expanding, cause tension and instability in the thorax. This complicates respiratory activity and generates dyspnea. In the case of advanced emphysema, the pulmonary alveoli stop functioning normally, which complicates gaseous exchanges and the oxygenation of the organism. This leads to cyanosis of the lips (they become bluish) and complete physical weakening due to breathlessness. Subcutaneous emphysema is characterized by the presence of air in the subcutaneous tissues, often caused by trauma to the thorax or neck which tears the lung tissue or the trachea. The air from aerial passages thus is diffused toward subcutaneous tissues, causing an inflation of the thorax or neck. Treatment is focused on its cause; it often disappears spontaneously.