Bullous Lung Disease is the most common form of emphysema. It's a disease that is characterised by abnormal and enlarged air spaces within the lungs, along with the deterioration of alveolar tissue, which is basically lung tissue that makes up the walls between air sacs. The term "apical" simply means that the disease is located in the upper part of the lungs.
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Defining Traits of Bullous Lung Disease
The way Bullous Lung Disease differs from other emphysema illnesses is that the enlarged air-filled spaces in between the alveolar tissue are made up of tiny blisters called "bullae." Each bulla is more than 5 mm in diameter and is filled with fluid inside the bulla's thin membrane walls. What makes these bullae so dangerous is that they take up plenty of space and prevent the lungs from extracting and contracting correctly, making it extremely difficult to breathe.
Blood Needs Oxygen
Without the lungs being able to properly expand and contract, the lungs are unable to take in as much oxygen as is needed. Not only does that present a problem for our air supply, but it creates another problem in that it doesn't give the bloodstream enough oxygen. Our blood needs oxygen to burn nutrients and give our cells energy to survive.
Causes of Bullous Lung Disease
Most people with Bullous Lung Disease are cigarette smokers. It is a proven fact that smoking causes the development of bullae and can also cause other pulmonary diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and respiratory bronchitis-associated interstitial lung disease. People who also use marijuana are linked to the Bullous Lung Disease. The fact that marijuana users inhale and hold in smoke in their lungs much longer than tobacco users makes them more susceptible to the illness.
Smoking cigarettes isn't the only cause for Bullous Lung Disease. There have been cases where mine workers and other coal-related workers have contracted the disease.
Emphysematous bullae can cause many respiratory problems, including shortness of breath. Also, people with this illness can become easily fatigued during physical activities since the body cannot take in the normal amount of oxygen that it needs.
Bullous Lung Disease can also lead to all types of infections, which is why most people who are being treated with the illness need to take antibiotics.
Treatments for this illness may vary. Surgery is prescribed for people with emphysematous bullae, but those who have symptoms of chronic coughing might want to look into inhale therapy such as ipratropium bromide. Steroid therapy is also a popular treatment for the lung disease, but is only a starting point for other treatments. All in all, whatever treatment that's prescribed, the first step to overcoming the illness is to stop smoking.
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