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Asked by Nokubonga

What causes the person with emphysema to find exercise difficult?

Emphysema is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath. This happens when the inner walls of the alveoli in the lungs become weak rupture, making bigger airspaces instead of smaller ones. This means that when an individual takes a breath, they can’t fill their lungs as much since there is now a reduced surface area for the gas exchange to take place on. When we exercise, our hearts beat faster. In order to sustain our energy it requires a higher amount of oxygen, which is why we breathe deeper and faster. An individual suffering from emphysema already has a reduced normal lung capacity, so increasing their body’s demand for oxygen through deeper faster is more difficult.

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Maryam Hussain
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