What is emphysema?
Emphysema is a serious and debilitating lung disease. In this condition, alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs and bronchioles, the narrow passages leading to the air sacs, become permanently distended with air. The lung tissues lose their elasticity and the number of blood vessels is reduced. It is essentially a chronic disease, which generally occurs after the age of 40. It is less frequent in women.
The main symptoms of emphysema is breathlessness followed by coughing. It goes worse with the lapse of time. Eventually the patient is breathless at rest, as the alveoli become so damaged that the exchange of gases between the blood and the air is much impaired. The patient feels difficulty in chewing and swallowing due to breathlessness. There may be discomfort after a meal because the lungs have expanded, pushing the diaphragm into the stomach. Other symptoms include loss of appetite and weight loss.
In severe cases, the chest itself may get enlarged and the movement of the ribs may diminish. The volume of air passed in and out of the lungs at each breath becomes very much less than normal. Symptoms of Emphysema may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Some of the common symptoms of emphysema are :
- Shortness of breath.
- Chronic cough with or without sputum production.
What are the causes of emphysema?
Emphysema is frequently found in association with asthma and chronic bronchitis. Obstruction of the air passages and infection are thus the main factors which bring about this disease. This weakens the elastic tissues of the lungs. Other causes of emphysema are continuous exposure to dust and high levels of air pollution. Smoking is the most common cause of emphysema. Tobacco smoke and other pollutants are thought to cause the release of chemicals from within the lungs that damage the walls of the air sacs. This damage becomes worse over time, affecting the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs.
Natural home remedies for the treatment of emphysema.
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of emphysema as under.
The most remarkable of these remedies is the use of garlic. Two or three cloves of this vegetable should be chewed daily. A small amount of garlic juice can also be added to vegetable juices.
2. Lemon Juice
The use of lemon or lime is another valuable home remedy for emphysema. A teaspoon of fresh juice of either of the two fruits should be taken several times a day before or between meals.
Amaranth (chaulai-ka-saag) has proved beneficial in the treatment of this disease. Fresh juice should be extracted from this green leafy vegetable. This juice should be mixed with honey and drunk liberally by the patient.
The aniseed (saunf) has also been found valuable in emphysema due to its expectorant properties. Five to ten drops of aniseed oil should be mixed with one teaspoon of brown sugar. This mixture can be taken with beneficial results in treating this disease. It is old emphysema cure in folk medicine.
Emphysema Prevention tips
- Avoiding smoking, if habitual, should be given up completely.
- Avoid polluted air.
- The patient should live in a place, with least air pollution and smog free environment. The chronic bronchitis, which is associated with emphysema must be kept under control as far as practicable through natural methods of treatment.