Emphysema is a lung condition which features withimproper ability of expelling the air. Lungs are normally quite elastic andthey can stretch and shrink when person breaths. The limitation while breathingin patients who are suffering from emphysema is due to destruction of alveolarsepta (parts of the lung responsible for air exchange). Emphysema belongs to agroup of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. The damage of the alveolarsepta is irreversible and condition tends to gets worse in that time. The illnessdisables the person and in terminal stage leads to death. Smokers and those whoare older than 40 are predominantly affected. Even an exposure to secondhand smokemay lead to condition. Apart from smoking the disease can be induced by certainindustrial pollutants, aerosol sprays and internal- combustion engine exhaust.Physiological atrophy due to old age leads to so called senile emphysema.Previous damage and scaring (tuberculosis, asthma) may contribute to thedisease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (thisrefers to emphysema as well) are the fourth leading cause of lethal outcome inthe world. Basically the prognosis depends on when the diagnosis has been set.Additionally if someone is diagnosed emphysema he/she should quit smoking andthe exposure to potential irritants so the further process of lung tissuedestruction can be inhibited. The symptoms then can be slightly reduced and thedamage restricted. In general mortality the rate due to emphysema israther higher than in people with normal pulmonary function. In the beginningof the disease patients gets tired while exercising, and then it starts toaffect regular daily activities. In terminal stages patients are bedridden andmostly hospitalized particularly if infection occurs. The leading causes ofdeath are respiratory failure, heart conditions, cancer and even severe lunginfections. Pneumonia and influenza are complications of emphysema and they canbe cured in healthy people, but in people who are suffering from emphysemareduced lung function in combination with infection may lead to death. Damaged lungs are inclined to induce damageto the heart. This eventually causes additional problems as patients developheart conditions (cur pulmonale, enlarged heart etc.). In some cases they caneven experience stroke. Since the condition is related to smoking the risk ofdeveloping the lung cancer is increased drastically. One more serious complicationincludes pheumothorax. This condition occurs when the air escapes from the lungsand collects outside the lungs in thorax. This happens in patients sufferingfrom emphysema since the walls of the alveoli are thinner and prone to rupture.And finally in these the patients and the body tends to produce excessive number of redblood cells to help the oxygen saturation. This state called polycitemia leadsto higher risk of blood clotting.