My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
Q.

What happens in emphysema?

Related Topics: Emphysema
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

8,020 Answers
274,242 Helpful Votes
325 Followers
A.

Emphysema results when the delicate linings of the air sacs in the lungs become irreversibly damaged. Most commonly, the toxins in cigarette smoke create the damage.

Over years, the lung changes of emphysema slowly evolve:


  • As the fragile tissues between air sacs are destroyed, air pockets in the lungs develop.

  • Air becomes trapped in these spaces of damaged lung tissue.

  • The lungs slowly enlarge, and breathing requires more effort.



This problem of emphysema is called airflow limitation.

During lung function testing, it takes someone with emphysema far longer to empty their lungs than it does a person without emphysema.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

57 of 66 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: What Is Emphysema?