emphysema em·phy·se·ma (ěm'fĭ-sē'mə, -zē'-)
A pathological condition of the lungs marked by an abnormal increase in the size of the air spaces, resulting in labored breathing and an increased susceptibility to infection. It can be caused by irreversible expansion of the alveoli or by the destruction of alveolar walls. Also called pulmonary emphysema.
An abnormal distention of body tissues caused by retention of air.
A chronic lung disease characterized by progressive, irreversible expansion of the alveoli with eventual destruction of alveolar tissue, causing obstruction to airflow. Patients with emphysema often have labored breathing, wheezing, chronic fatigue, and increased susceptibility to infection, and may require oxygen therapy. Long-term smoking is a common cause of emphysema.
A chronic disease in which the tiny air sacs in the lungs become stretched and enlarged, so that they are less able to supply oxygen to the blood. Emphysema causes shortness of breath and painful coughing and can increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. Emphysema occurs most frequently in older men who have been heavy smokers.