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Doctor insights on: What Is Enphysema

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What is emphysema?

What is emphysema?

Lung damage: Destruction of lung tissue from exposure to cigarette smoke. As more lung tissue is destroyed, shortness of breath gets worse, and ultimately the lungs cannot do their job, and the body gets starved of oxygen. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
498 Doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Definition)

A group of lung diseases that block airflow and make ...Read more


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What is emphysema?

What is emphysema?

Breakdown of walls: Of the small air pouches in your lung, called alveoli. When the walls become damaged, the alveoli merge into one larger pouch, decreasing the surface area where gas exchange can occur. Think of this by comparing the surface area of a ballon of equal size to a bunch of grapes. Though individually smaller, there are many grapes in the same volume, so more surface area. ...Read more

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What is emphysema?

What is emphysema?

Definition...: Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is usually caused by cigarette smoking which damages the lungs leading to this disease. It is an incurable, slowly progressive disease. Once present, treatments are aimed at reducing symptoms and insuring that there is enough oxygen in the body to support it. Smoking cessation is vital to decrease airway inflammation. ...Read more

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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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Is emphysema inherited?

Is emphysema inherited?

Could be rarely: Most commonly it is from smoking. But some people have Alpha 1 antitruson deficiency they can get emphysema still smoking plays a major role. ...Read more

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Consequences of emphysema?

Progressive...: Emphysema is a progressive disease and it progresses faster if smoking is continued. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, cough sometimes productive of sputum, decreased oxygen level with increased carbon dioxide level, etc. With progression, the signs and symptoms worsen. COPD can lead to death so smoking cessation is necessary to slow progression. The patient should see doc for therapy. ...Read more

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How long can emphysema last?

How long can emphysema last?

Life long: Once you have emphysema, it will always be there. Once you lose lung tissue, it is gone forever. That doesn't mean life is over...There are very good treatments, and people with emphysema can life full, productive lives. Best thing is to stop smoking and see a doctor to get treated. ...Read more

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What is done for emphysema?

Smoking Cessation: The most important thing is to stop the cause, which in the vast majority of cases is smoking-related. Thereafter, treatment focuses on keeping the airways open with medications. There is less room in the lungs (even though they're bigger) for gas exchange, so many of these patients require supplemental oxygen. ...Read more

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What is end stage emphysema?

What is end stage emphysema?

Chronic Lung Disease: Emphysema is a form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). There are different classifications of COPD. End stage could refer to you needing to use daily medications in order to relieve symptoms of shortness of breath. This could also mean needing to use oxygen. If a physician has mentioned "end stage" it is worth visiting with a lung specialist called a Pulmonologist. ...Read more

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How can I have gotten emphysema?

How can I have gotten emphysema?

Possibilities...: Most of the time, COPD is caused by smoking, if you are a non-smoker, there are environmental exposures that can contribute so what type of work you do may be relevant. There is also a form of COPD, alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency, which is caused by an enzyme deficiency. This can be diagnosed via a blood test and the enzyme can be replaced so the disease won't progress further. ...Read more

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Does emphysema have a real effect?

Um?: What? Real effect? Yes. Google "emphysema lung" for all the pictures and microscope slides you need. ...Read more

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What sort of disorder is emphysema?

What sort of disorder is emphysema?

COPD: Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd). It is characterized by chronic obstruction in the airways usually due to smoking. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, etc. The diagnosis is made by an evaluation by a doctor as well as pulmonary function tests. There are treatments available. Smoking cessation is important to prevent further lung damage. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of emphysema?

What are the symptoms of emphysema?

Shortness of breath: Typically emphysema causes shortness of breath without wheezing or congestion - just air hunger. There are many causes of this symptom however so testing is required for a proper diagnosis. ...Read more

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Is emphysema common for nonsmokers?

Is emphysema common for nonsmokers?

No: However, if some one has a genetic predisposition to emphysema, such as alpha-1-antitrypsin disease, then they can develop emphysema. Also, people who are exposed to second hand smoke on a chronic basis can develop emphysema. ...Read more

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Does emphysema effect older people?

Does emphysema effect older people?

It can....: Empysema is a form of copd, usually a result of cigarette smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke over time, the bigger your risk of developing this disease. So, elderly people who have smoked lots of cigarettes over many years are at high risk of developing this disease. ...Read more

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Can emphysema affect small children?

Yes: 3% of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit can have interstitial pulmonary emphysema. There is a genetic condition that causes low levels of an enzyme that protects the lungs, and these patients can get emphysema even without smoking, but it does not affect small children. (it might be apparent in their 30's or 40's). Thanks @yayayarndiva. ...Read more

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Can you tell me all about emphysema?

Can you tell me all about emphysema?

Good resource: Check this out from the american lung association:
http://www. Lung. Org/lung-disease/emphysema/. ...Read more

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What are other effects of emphysema?

What are other effects of emphysema?

Breathlessness: Shortness of breath is number 1, but weight loss, susceptibility to infection, and cardiac disease are also possible. ...Read more

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How long does emphysema take to occur?

Depends...: The time it takes to develop COPD depends on many factors including genetic factors and the amount of cigarettes smoked over time. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke increases your risk of developing this disease. Smoking cessation decreases the risk of developing this disease. ...Read more

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What is the cause of emphysema in men?

Smoking: Smoking, smoking and smoking. Then there are genetic causes like alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency and rarely occupational exposures. In some parts of the world open pit charcoal burning can cause emphysema. ...Read more

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What can be initial signs of emphysema?

What can be initial signs of emphysema?

Emphysema: The elasticity of the lung is impaired in emphysema reducing the patient's ability to exhale resulting in wheezing and shortness of breath. Early symptoms may also include daily cough particularly in the morning. Recurrent episodes of bronchitis can occur as the disease progresses. Severe emphysema can also cause low oxygen levels, heart failure, and death. ...Read more

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Ok I've got emphysema. What should I do?

Stop smoking: If you smoke, stop now. There are many medications which help reduce the symptoms of emphysema (copd). You should consult with your doctor about which regimens are appropriate for you. You may require supplemental oxygen. Pulmonary rehab programs are very helpful. Stay away from other smokers and dusty environments. ...Read more

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Are there any pills that help emphysema?

Are there any pills that help emphysema?

Yes: The best medications for emphysema, or copd, are inhaled; however, there is a newly approved oral medication called Daliresp (roflumilast) that has been shown to decrease the number of COPD flares. This won't work when you are wheezing or short of breath, but it should reduce the number of flares you have by about 15%. Talk to your doctor to see if this is a good option for you. ...Read more

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What percentage of smokers get emphysema?

What percentage of smokers get emphysema?

See below: A much much higher percentage than non-smokers who get emphysema. ...Read more

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What are the usual symptoms of emphysema?

Usual symptoms...: Usual symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath, decreased blood oxygen level, decreased appetite, decreased ability to sleep, decreased activity level, cough, wheezing, weight loss, etc. The diagnosis is made by seeing chronic obstruction on pulmonary function tests, which can occur without any symptoms. ...Read more

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How should I help my husband's emphysema?

Stop smoking: First remove the cause by stopping smoking. Get on medications that improve breathing. Keep clear of second hand smoke and dusty environments. Wash your hands frequently to prevent infection and make sure he gets his vaccines. ...Read more