Emphysema vs. Chronic Bronchitis Prognosis

There are various types of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Despite the fact that, at the first glance, those diseases can look similar, they differ on various levels in terms of a detailed prognosis.

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In the case of chronic bronchitis, the illness is not only chronic but also progressive. In other words, if the factors that caused chronic bronchitis are not removed from the environment, in which the patient exists, the disease will progress further, and the symptoms will become more severe (Miravitlles, Soler-Cataluña, Calle, & Soriano, 2013).

In such situations, the major recommendation for patients with chronic bronchitis is to avoid any factors that may lead to bronchial irritation. It includes, of course, smoking (which is one of the main causes of chronic bronchitis), chemical compounds that irritate bronchi, and airborne dust. The therapy designed to treat chronic bronchitis would be less effective if those factors still affected the patient’s health. However, it is also important to note the fact that the full recovery happens not quite often, and the more the patient’s bronchi and long functions are affected by the negative factors, the lesser recovery is possible. Thus, not only the compliance of the patient with the prescribed treatment is significant, but also the level to which the health was impaired (Miravitlles, Soler-Cataluña, Calle, & Soriano, 2013). Therefore, it is important for a nurse to educate a patient about the dangers and risks of non-compliance with the treatment.

Unlike chronic bronchitis, in the case of the prognosis of emphysema, the major hindrance to the patient’s breathing and other lung functions is the destructions of alveoli. In other words, the air sacs in the lungs slowly lose their capacity and elasticity, which makes the process of breathing less smooth and creates obstructions to inhaled air. In terms of nursing and management, a nurse is to monitor the symptoms of a patient with emphysema because such patients may require oxygen support.

References

Miravitlles, M., Soler-Cataluña, J. J., Calle, M., & Soriano, J. B. (2013). Treatment of COPD by Clinical Phenotypes: Putting Old Evidence into Clinical Practice. European Respiratory Journal, 41(6), 1252-1256.

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