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Emphysema

 We might laugh at or even get miffed when the programmes we are watching on television get interrupted with painful-to-watch reminders about the ills of smoking. But it is true that smoking can greatly compromise the quality of life - not just that of the smoker but also that of… ...Read more
 We might laugh at or even get miffed when the programmes we are watching on television get interrupted with painful-to-watch reminders about the ills of smoking. But it is true that smoking can greatly compromise the quality of life - not just that of the smoker but also that of those who are around them. Smoking is in fact one of the main causes of a breathing condition called Emphysema, especially for those who are genetically susceptible.  Emphysema is a condition in which the breathing tubes in the lungs are narrowed and the air sacs are stretched and damaged due to excessive smoking or passive smoking.  Emphysema is a form of COPD. Chronic Bronchitis, which is another form of COPD, differs from Emphysema in that a lot of mucus is formed in Chronic Bronchitis while Emphysema is mainly characterised by shortness of breath even while doing the simplest of works.  The main causes of emphysema are:
  •       Cigarette smoking
  •       Marijuana smoking
  •       Air pollution
  •       Chemical fumes and dust
  •     Smoke from cooking indoors
Symptoms It usually starts with shortness of breath which can lead to bigger problems. You might just ignore it considering it to be your age or health status but it affects your oxygen intake levels and hence your bloodstream. Emphysema makes it hard to catch your breath even after doing the easiest of jobs. Most people with emphysema also suffer from chronic bronchitis. (Search Bronchitis and COPD)  A few preventive measures one can take are:
  •     Avoid passive smoking
  •     Wear a mask to eliminate dust and air pollution
  •     Exercise and try Yoga therapies to improve breathing
Treatment Damaged lungs cannot be repaired (in some cases surgery or even lung transplant could be needed). Inhalers could be prescribed or even direct oxygen depending on the severity of the condition. Lifestyle changes that can give some relief from Emphysema:
  1. Quit smoking
  2. Follow a healthy diet
  3. Get some exercise everyday
  4. Keep fully hydrated - have warm water throughout the day - this will keep the airway free by loosening the mucus.
  5. When going out into the cold air, cover your nose and mouth with a scarf.
Going beyond in the holistic approach  Louise Hay, motivational leader and empowerment coach who has done pathbreaking work in supporting HIV/AIDS patients and their families, has said that “Illness however mild or severe is an indicator of your emotional state, caused by your thoughts and focus.”  According to her, cause of Emphysema is Fear of taking in life. Not worthy of living.  One way of healing this is through saying or writing affirmations. Doing this regularly can help to reduce the debilitating effects of this illness.  Her affirmation for healing for Emphysema is: It is my birthright to live fully and freely. I love life. I love me.  Read less
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