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A 38-year-old member asked:

how is emphysema and bronchitis linked to smoking?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Inflammation...: Smoking causes airway inflammation and this inflammatory response in the lungs, in certain patients, will lead to the lung destruction that results in copd. Chronic bronchitis is a form of copd. Inflammation is the key and smoking cessation decreases this inflammation and thus, slows disease progression.

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A 31-year-old member asked:

What is chronic bronchitis? What is the difference between chronic bronchitis and copd?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Pulmonary Critical Care 25 years experience
Chronic cough: COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella diagnosis that includes emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, some people also include asthma. In chronic bronchitis, there is chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes resulting in cough and phlegm production. The most common cause is smoking.
A 35-year-old member asked:

My grandmother has emphysema, is her heart more likely to fail?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Pulmonology 27 years experience
Yes and No: Emphysema mainly causes dysfunction of the right heart (called cor pulmonale). This usually happens only when the disease is severe/advanced. It can also cause pulmonary hypertension (high pressure in the lungs). Emphysema is usually not a cause of left heart dysfunction although heart disease is very prevalent in patients with copd/emphysema.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is emphysema contagious?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
No: Emphysema is acquired by a combination of environmental and genetic factors and is especially worsened by any exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants - ie exposure to tobacco smoking primary and/or secondary and things like asbestos etc. Not by being exposed to those with emphysema.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Are antibiotics effective against copd?

10 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Dr. Andrew Carrollanswered
Family Medicine 25 years experience
No: As COPD really only refers to the "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease", which is a structural lung issue, antibiotics are not effective against it. COPD patients, though, have a higher tendency to have bacterial lung illnesses, which is when you would employ antibiotics.
A 21-year-old member asked:

If I stop smoking will that help heal my copd?

6 doctor answers18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Dr. Andrew Carrollanswered
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Yes: Some elements of your COPD will get much better after quitting smoking. Depending on your age and how long you smoked, some of the changes in your lungs will be irreversible. However, the ability to clear secretions and keep harmful bacterial and dust out of your lungs will improve immensely, making your lungs function much better.

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Last updated Sep 3, 2013

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