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Doctor insights on: Emphysema

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
487 doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Overview)

Emphysema is also known as COPD. Emphysema is a lung disease caused by destruction of lung tissue--specifically the alveoli, which are the smallest sac-like units of the lung responsible for oxygen exchange. It is characterized by shortness of breath, an expanded chest, and possible signs of low oxygen in the body such as bluish discoloration of the skin.


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Can emphysema be cured?

Can emphysema be cured?

No: Emphysema is, by definition, a disease characterized by irreversible damage to the lungs. However, there are all degrees of emphysema and the goal of therapy is to ameliorate symptoms, treat complications, and prevent or slow progression. ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
487 doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Overview)

Emphysema is also known as COPD. Emphysema is a lung disease caused by destruction of lung tissue--specifically the alveoli, which are the smallest sac-like units of the lung responsible for oxygen exchange. It is characterized by shortness of breath, an expanded chest, and possible signs of low oxygen in the body such as bluish discoloration of the skin.


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How does emphysema reduce the amount of oxygen which diffuses into the blood?

From Destruction: The destruction in the lung tissue from emphysema makes the oxygen harder to cross into the blood because there is less tissue surface left. With less air sacs to participate in gas exchange, it is harder for oxygen to cross into the blood. Does that make sense? That's why people should stop smoking. ...Read more

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Living with COPD (Checklist)

Quit smoking
once
Use inhaler as prescribed
once
Avoid exposure to smoke and other noxious fumes
once
Follow up with your doctor
once
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What are the most common symptoms of emphysema?

What are the most common symptoms of emphysema?

Breathlessness: Shortness of breath, initially only with exertion, but over time with progressively less exertion and even at rest, is the cardinal symptom of emphysema. ...Read more

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I had a CT done that radiologist stated that I have early signs of emphysema. I haven't smoked in seven years will the emphysema continue to get worse since I don't smoke anymore?

I had a CT done that radiologist stated that I have early signs of emphysema.  I haven't smoked in seven years   will the emphysema continue to get worse since I don't smoke anymore?

Yes but see below: Ct is not a good way to evaluate emphysema. You should get pulmonary function testing. That will tell you how bad your emphysema really is. Everybody's lung function gets worse with age. The best thing you ever did is quit smoking, that will slow your lung function's decline. Your ct does not necessarily correlate to your functional status or mean that you will be a pulmonary cripple. ...Read more

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Possible for a pulmonary function test rule out emphysema 100%?

Early on no: In fact emphysema might have a normal spirograph, a diffusion test (dlco) is usually abnormal even early in the disease, but both can be within normal limits. No test is perfect. ...Read more

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Could you have early emphysema with a normal ("unremarkable")pulmonary function test?

Could you have early emphysema with a normal ("unremarkable")pulmonary function test?

Definition...: By definition, COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If the pulmonary function tests do not show chronic obstruction, then COPD is not diagnosed. However, chronic obstruction can develop especially if the person continues to smoke. Asthma can be present with unremarkable pulmonary function test. Repeat the test in 6-12 months if COPD is still a concern. Good luck! ...Read more

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Anyone have a loved one die from emphysema who knows how to stop a youngster from smoking?

Anyone have a loved one die from emphysema who knows how to stop a youngster from smoking?

Online Guidelines: Go online to www.Opas.Us and under handouts review the one directed toward smokers. Print it out and provide it to your loved one. Understand, however, you are powerless whether even they will read it or not. ...Read more

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Can excessive coughing cause emphysema to worsen?

Can excessive coughing cause emphysema to worsen?

No: But it might be a sign that something is amiss: insufficient medications, medication side effect, something else might be going on ...Etc. Excessive coughing can cause broken ribs, chest pain, coughing blood and collapsed lung. ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
909 doctors shared insights

Copd (Definition)

COPD may include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Chronic bronchitis is the production of increased mucus caused by inflammation. Bronchitis is considered chronic if you cough and produce excess mucus most days for three months in a year, two years in a row. Emphysema is a disease that damages the air sacs and/or the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs. ...Read more