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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Centrilobular emphysema: Diagnosis, treatment, and outlook

"A person's lungs absorb the chemicals in cigarette smoke. These chemicals cause inflammation, destroy the small air sacs, and weaken the ability of the lungs to fight off infections. Secondhand smoking can have similar effects. Other toxic inhalants may also pose a risk, and are likely to be more common in certain lines of work. People who work around coal or charcoal may be at risk if they frequently inhale coal dust or other toxic fumes. Regular exposure to exhaust fumes from vehicles or machinery and fumes from fuel may also increase the risk." While tobacco smoke is the poster child for risk of COPD, any source of inhaled smoke into the lungs may be a factor. There are still millions of people worldwide who use biofuels (wood, charcoals, dung) to cook. In addition, the rising use of inhaled marijuana may be the next "big tobacco" with like lung injury sequelae. Basically, by inhaling many substances into the lungs one is creating a high level of air pollution in the lungs--far worse than the worse air pollution days in an urban city. I find it ironic when one of my smoking patients complain about the air pollution on any given day, as each drag on their cigarette is a hundred fold or greated more polluted than each breath of ambient air. Lungs like fresh, natural air without additives.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

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