How does emphysema affect the lungs?
Click to see full answer
Regarding this, how does emphysema affect gas exchange in the lungs?
Emphysema. Emphysema damages the inner walls of the lungs' air sacs (alveoli), causing them to eventually rupture. This creates one larger air space instead of many small ones and reduces the surface area available for gas exchange.
One may also ask, how does smoking cause emphysema? Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The air sacs in the lungs become damaged and stretched. This results in a chronic cough and difficulty breathing. Smoking is the most common cause, but emphysema can also be genetic.
Secondly, how does emphysema affect diffusion?
Lungs affected by emphysema show loss of alveolar walls and destruction of alveolar capillaries. As a result, the surface available for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between inhaled air and blood traversing the lungs is reduced.
Why do patients with emphysema find it difficult to exhale?
This trapped air pushes down the main breathing muscle called the diaphragm and makes it less effective. This process is called hyperinflation – too much air in the lungs – and makes it harder to breathe. The damage to the air sacs makes it harder for oxygen to pass into the blood vessels of the lungs.