Important facts about bullous lung disease


Bullous lung disease causes extreme shortness of breath due to the formation of air-filled tissue walls in the lungs.  These walls keep the lungs from functioning at their full capacity, causing the severe shortness of breath.  Bullous lung disease is actually the most common form of emphysema.  Doctors diagnose bullous lung disease by looking at a chest X-ray, CT scan, or CMT.


This lung disease is a form of emphysema, which is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.  In addition to shortness of breath, patients with emphysema may also experience extreme fatigue.  This is due to the lack of oxygen circulating throughout the body.  Lungs that aren’t operating at full capacity simply don’t have the ability to get oxygen everywhere it needs to go, and this can leave you feeling completely worn out.  Other symptoms include a cough with large amounts of mucus and frequent respiratory infections. 


Bullous lung disease is usually associated with smoking, especially marijuana smoking.  This is because people who smoke marijuana tend to inhale more deeply and hold in the smoke for a longer time than cigarette smokers do.  This is also the reason this type of emphysema is usually found in smokers who have smoked for a much longer time than younger smokers.  

In most cases, the symptoms of all lung diseases develop slowly, especially if they are brought on by smoking.  You may not even notice the symptoms at first, which makes this disease even more dangerous.  Recovering from bullous lung disease often requires an entire lifestyle change.  Patients who are diagnosed with this disease will have to quit smoking.  In some cases, they may even require surgery to get rid of the air-filled walls in the lungs.  Some doctors may also prescribe inhalants as a treatment.  Steroids are also another possible treatment, although it is usually only the first line of treatment for this type of lung disease.  In some cases, oxygen therapy may also be necessary.


Doctors may also recommend different forms of therapy to combat some of the symptoms of the disease as it progresses.  Pulmonary rehabilitation involves retraining your lungs to breathe in a different way.  There are also a number of exercise programs that are created with the aim of helping maintain muscle strength in the legs so the lungs don’t have to do as much work when you’re walking.  


There is no cure for bullous lung disease, but quitting smoking can go a long way toward slowing down the progress of the disease.  Smokers who are diagnosed with any of a number of different lung conditions caused by smoking are much more likely to live longer if they quit smoking.  They may also find it helpful to avoid breathing very cold air and take steps to reduce pollution in the home.  Not using the fireplace can help reduce the number of irritants in the air.  An air purifier may also help ease the symptoms of this disease just a bit.