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Doctor insights on: Emphysema

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
498 Doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Overview)

A group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe.


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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.

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
498 Doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Overview)

A group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Does shortness of breath mean possible emphysema?

Does shortness of breath mean possible emphysema?

Yes it might: Shortness of breath has many causes, from benign - out of shape- to more severe - asthma, emphysema, congestive heart failure, etc. If a smoker who has smoked more than 1-2 packs a day for 20 yrs starts experiencing shortness of breath - should see md for exam, xray and pulmonary function tests... But ultimately stop smoking...

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How to treat soft tissue emphysema?

How to treat soft tissue emphysema?

Treat the cause: Soft tissue emphysema can occur from gas gangrene or from pneumothorax or rupture of a hollow organ (ie bowel). Thus it's always a very serious occurrence. The underlying pathology must be addressed.

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Can very early stage emphysema be treated?

Yes...: Treatment includes bronchodilator and steroid inhalers as well as treating infections early and aggressively. Smoking cessation at this stage is critical to decrease airway inflammation and slow disease progression. If your blood oxygen level is low enough, supplemental oxygen is prescribed.

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I want to know my options for treating inherited emphysema?

I want to know my options for treating inherited emphysema?

Pulmonary Medicine: Inherited emphysema may be caused by any one of several dozen different genetic conditions. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is one well known cause: http://ghr. Nlm. Nih. Gov/condition/alpha-1-antitrypsin-deficiency. Your pulmonary doctor will be very familiar with these conditions, can diagnose the exact genetic cause, and will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. If you smoke, stop now.

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Is there a cure for emphysema?

Is there a cure for emphysema?

No...: Empysema, a form of copd, is an incurable, slowly progressive disease. There are effective treatments but no cure. Smoking cessation can prevent it from developing and slow progression, if already present.

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My husband has acute bronchitis and emphysema. What is the right medicines he can take to get rid of these?

My husband has acute bronchitis and emphysema. What is the right medicines he can take to get rid of these?

Acute bronchitis...: Treatment for acute bronchitis depends on etiology. For a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used but there is no treatment for viral bronchitis as antibiotics are ineffective. There is no cure for emphysema but viral bronchitis will resolve on its own within a week to 10 days.

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If someone with emphysema or copd, and then gets lung cancer, how low is the survival rate?

If someone with emphysema or copd, and then gets lung cancer, how low is the survival rate?

Low...: Lung cancer has a low survival rate regardless of whether or not COPD is also present. By the time a person has symptoms, the cancer is already advanced so the best cure rate is when it is found before there are any symptoms. Because of this, the best approach is to stop smoking or never start since the prognosis is terrible once symptoms are present!

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My mother suffered from a rare form of copd. She received a lung transplant which eventually rejected. For the last few months my right lung has been hurting off and on. Not bad enough to seek medical attention, but I do wonder if COPD is genetic.?

My mother suffered from a rare form of copd. She received a lung transplant which eventually rejected. For the last few months my right lung has been hurting off and on. Not bad enough to seek medical attention, but I do wonder if COPD is genetic.?

Genetic form...: There is an inherited form of COPD called alpha-1-anti trypsin deficiency. It is caused by an enzyme deficiency and treatment involves enzyme replacement. It is diagnosed by a blood test that your family practice doctor can order. Patients with this disorder develop COPD at a younger age and smoking accelerates the process. See your doctor for testing!

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Dr. Mark Pack
1 Doctor shared a insight

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