To be honest, the life expectancy of emphysema is not very encouraging. This disease progressively affects the person and is irreversible, so life expectancy due to emphysema is certainly affected. However, alternative treatments may offer some help. Not just humans, emphysema also strikes animals. For example, canine emphysema is not that uncommon.
Before antibiotics, infection in the lungs, particularly the tubercle bacillus that caused pulmonary tuberculosis, could not be cured; doctors simply described the disorder as a “debilitating disease.” Even today, after the invention of multipurpose drugs, tuberculosis remains one of the most difficult diseases to cure completely.
Emphysema, which also affects the lungs, is another difficult disease to cure. In fact, today’s doctors can’t cure it at all. While pulmonary tuberculosis can be controlled with very powerful antibiotics that can eventually kill the bacilli before the bacilli can kill the patient, no antibiotic can repair the holes in the lungs that have been caused by the alveoli. And this is the tragedy of emphysema.
The disease of emphysema and your life expectancy
Emphysema is a chronic and progressive pulmonary (lung) disorder characterized by respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of shortness of breath during exertion. Although the symptoms of emphysema and chronic bronchitis are more or less similar, the respiratory disorder of emphysema is a unique and singular phenomenon.
Studies reveal that emphysema is more common in men over 65 years of age. And if someone is diagnosed with the disease at this age, many doctors give the person a maximum of 3 years to live. Children and pregnant women can also be victims. Of course, while life expectancy is affected here too, they can expect to live longer. It can be said that life expectancy decreases with age. But on the bright side, at least emphysema is not contagious, and therefore there is no risk of family members being affected.
Distinctive symptoms include up to 35% to 55% damage to lung tissues, and most of that damage is irreparable. According to the results of the breathing tests (PFT or Pulmonary Function Test) there are 4 successive stages of emphysema and they are …
Stage 1: mild
Stage 2 – Moderate
Stage 3 – Severe
Stage 4: very serious or terminal
Emphysema Life expectancy and the role of spirometry
Spirometry is used to measure the volumes / percentage of air exhaled by the patient in one second. This is medically referred to as FEV 1 or forced expiratory volume over one second. This is an important test because it gives the doctor an estimate of the patient’s health and how long they can live. For a normal healthy person, the spirometer reading will range from 80 to 100. But for an emphysema patient whose reading is less than 35, the person will be in Stage 4, and this means that they are not expected to live long. . However, with some information and effective measures, the person will certainly be able to survive for many years.
Aside from the results of diagnostic tests, several other factors also help determine the life expectancy of emphysema. These include the patient’s body weight (a lower weight indicates a higher risk), how much they can cover before experiencing respiratory problems, the ability to resist viral or other infections, and others.
To improve the life expectancy of emphysema, doctors often prescribe long-term oxygen therapy, and this also alleviates respiratory problems. Small and practical oxygen cylinders can provide a 24-hour supply of oxygen, thus greatly increasing life expectancy. But the key is to act on your doctor’s advice.