Emphysema Underlying Cause
In emphysema, the bronchioles and alveoli in the lungs become damaged, usually due to smoking. The bronchioles are small air passageways and the alveoli are tiny sacs where oxygen is transferred from the air into the bloodstream.
Other causes include:
- Occupational exposure to dust
- Occupational exposure to smoke
- Occupational exposure to fumes
Normally, the bronchioles and alveoli are open and elastic: they expand when air enters the lungs, and return to shape during air exits the lungs.
The damage causes the walls of the bronchioles and alveoli to:
The above changes lead to obstructed, or blocked, bronchioles and alveoli. Air does not enter or exit the lungs freely, and the lungs are unable to take in oxygen as effectively as undamaged lungs.
Continue to Emphysema Anatomy
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