What is Emphysema?

Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that affects the lungs.  Persons with emphysema experience shortness of breath because their lung tissues are damaged.  The physical shape and functions of the lungs are affected.  A normal lung is spongy and springy, but a lung with emphysema is like an old sponge.  When a person with emphysema exhales, the airflow is slowed down because gases in the alveoli is not able to move as easily.

Symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath and expanded chest.  They cannot get enough oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide as efficiently.

The alveoli in the lungs does not have normal movement of gases and that's why a person with emphysema experiences shortness of breath.

Created by:  Annette A. Vera


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