Bullous Emphysema

Bullous emphysema is similar to regular emphysema. In fact it is diagnosed in the same manner. To diagnose both regular and Bullous emphysema, a doctor will test an individual's oxygen levels and x-rays, in addition to Pulmonary Function Testing. Depending on the severity of the Bullous emphysema, another test might be done to determine the extent of damage on the air sacs. Bullous emphysema is basically the medical term for when one has air spaces in the lungs that are at least one centimeter in size. These are also referred to as bubbles, which is where the name Bullous emphysema originated. These air pockets can rupture.

·         The symptoms of Bullous emphysema are very similar to regular emphysema. All of them relate to the fact that the body is not able to take in as much oxygen as it is supposed to. One of the main symptoms is difficulty breathing. An individual may find that they are not able to walk up stairs without getting winded. Wheezing, coughing and excessive phlegm are all symptoms of Bullous emphysema. A person might also find that they no longer have any appetite and begin to lose weight unintentionally. Feeling weak and tired is also typical when it comes to Bullous emphysema. After an individual is diagnosed with Bullous emphysema, they are put on a treatment plan that can consist of a proper diet and light exercise if possible. The goal of any treatment for Bullous emphysema is to try to increase the airflow to the lungs.

·         Some people with advanced Bullous emphysema will not be able to exercise at all. A person might be directed to take steroids. If they are unable to catch their breath because of their condition, they might be put on an oxygen tank, which is a machine that essentially breathes for them. If an individual is unable to eat because of their Bullous emphysema, they might be fed intravenously. The last resort for treatment of Bullous emphysema is a lung transplant. If the lung is severely damaged enough to warrant removal, then a lung transplant will be performed. Both death and infection might be possible so doctors do not like to perform this until there are no other options for treating the Bullous emphysema.

·         Bullous emphysema is just as deadly as regular emphysema. One should keep in mind that smoking is the main cause for Bullous emphysema. An individual who smokes will be instructed to quit immediately after they are diagnosed with Bullous emphysema. The best treatment plan might not help at all if a person still smokes. If an individual quits smoking immediately they will usually have a higher life expectancy than people who continue to smoke. Although Bullous emphysema is not curable, an individual in the early stages of it might be able to live comfortably. In fact, a person who is in the early stages of Bullous emphysema who quits smoking could have the same life expectancy as any other person.


Bullous emphysema can be fatal and individuals who have it must take good care of themselves. Proper treatment can help a person to live comfortably, but early diagnosis is very important.

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