Mphysema can be caused by long-term smoking or secondhand smoke exposure. It is part of the chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) group of lung diseases.
Emphysema can cause you to feel short of breath. You might also experience tightness in your chest, wheezing, or coughing up phlegm.
This article will discuss when antibiotics can be prescribed for emphysema, and the other treatments that may be used.
What causes emphysema
The millions of tiny air sacs in your lungs, called alveoli, make up the lungs. The tiny air sacs that make up your lungs, called alveoli, can become weaker and eventually rupture with emphysema. This reduces the efficiency of your lungs.
The ruptured alveoli means that less oxygen is able to reach your bloodstream when it inhales. Air can get trapped in your lungs when you exhale, making it difficult for fresh air to enter your lungs.
After years of lung damage (usually from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke), emphysema can develop. Inhaling regularly toxic substances is a lesser known cause of emphysema.
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- Polluted air
The American Lung Association reports that more than 3,000,000 Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema. Emphysema is one of the most preventable respiratory diseases due to its strong connection to smoking.
Is it possible to treat emphysema with antibiotics?
There is no cure for emphysema, but there are many treatment options that can help you manage your symptoms and prevent further lung damage. These options include medication, behavioral therapies, and in extreme cases, surgery.
Emphysema is not treated by antibiotics. They are prescribed instead to treat flare-ups and exacerbations of emphysema, as well as COPD.
A COPD exacerbation can cause symptoms like shortness of breath or increased phlegm production. Sometimes, the cause of the symptoms is a bacterial infection within the lungs such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or both.
Antibiotic treatment is intended to eradicate the bacterial infection and relieve symptoms. The severity of the condition will determine the type and route of antibiotics that are used.
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What other treatments are available for emphysema
You may also be able to get relief from emphysema symptoms by using other common treatments. This will help you maintain your quality of life and lung health.
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Some treatments may include:
- Inhalers relax the respiratory passage muscles, which allows more air to enter your lungs.
- Corticosteroids are designed to relieve irritation and inflammation in the airways.
- Rehabilitation of the pulmonary system. Pulmonary rehabilitation involves education, breathing exercises, counseling, and other activities to improve your quality of living.
- Influenza and pneumonia vaccines may help to prevent exacerbations of COPD or emphysema.
- Lifestyle changes. Emphysema symptoms can be eased by lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, moderate exercise and eating a healthy diet.
- Oxygen therapy. The oxygen therapy device is portable and delivers concentrated oxygen to the lungs. This helps to reduce shortness.
- Surgery is usually reserved for severe cases of emphysema.