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Hello! I am Mary and I am fifteen. My grandmother has emphysema and she breathes with difficulty. We have learned about lungs on our biology classes but my teacher couldn’t explain what happens to the alveolus when someone has emphysema. She said that emphysema affects the alveolus but she couldn’t explain in what way. Is it possible to cure alveolus?

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Hello! You have probably learned at school that the lungs are very spongy and elastic. When a breath is taken, the chest wall expands and draws air into the lungs. Air goes trough the trachea and bronchi. Bronchi divide into smaller and smaller tubes, finally ending in alveoli. Alveoli are the tiniest structures in the lung and look like small air sacs that are arranged like a bunch of grapes. The alveoli and the bronchioles are very important structures for the lungs and they are destroyed by emphysema. Lungs need hundreds of millions alveoli to draw enough air into them. The fewer and the bigger the alveoli, the less effectively they perform.
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