The visual effects of Emphysema on Alveoli. Emphysematous lung looks like an old used sponge, with large holes and a dramatic loss of elasticity.

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  1. Janine did her project on emphysema. Emphysema is a lung disease where lung damage causes shortness of breath. Other symptoms are labored breathing, discolored skin, wheezing, difficulty coughing and talking. Emphysema is caused by smoking tobacco or marijuana, being exposed to air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust. To treat emphysema, people usually use nebulizers, positive pressure breathing machines, bronchodilators, antibiotics, steroids, and oxygen.
    Janine’s art piece shows what healthy alveoli looks like versus what alveoli with emphysema looks like. Alveoli are tiny air sacs in the lungs that have thin enough walls for gas exchange to occur. The normal alveoli on the left shows a healthy alveoli with tons of surface area and lots of air sacs. The alveoli with emphysema on the right has very little surface area and some of the walls are collapsed. The alveolar walls lose elasticity when a person has emphysema. When there is little surface area, it can decrease the amount of oxygen that is entering the blood. This can cause people to work harder for more oxygen, which can be really exhausting.

    Laura Ekada

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