Symptoms of Emphysema

doctor checkin for EmphysemaEmphysema is a chronic condition that can lead to lung damage and other complications. Having this condition diagnosed and treated can help reduce these risks.

What is Emphysema?

Emphysema is a condition that causes damage to air sacs in your lungs. These air sacs have difficulty allowing fresh air to get into your lungs when you breathe. This leads to breathing difficulties and other symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Emphysema?

The main symptom of emphysema is shortness of breath. This can start off as a mild problem that gradually becomes worse over the years, especially when you climb stairs or do other physical activities. Other symptoms include a bluish or grayish tint in your fingernails or lips when you’ve been physically active and decreased alertness.

What Are the Types of Medications Used for Emphysema?

A few different types of medications are used for treating emphysema. The medications that each patient needs differ depending on how serious their symptoms are. The drugs that are used include bronchodilators to ease shortness of breath and inhaled steroids to relieve inflammation. Antibiotics are sometimes used if patients have a bacterial infection, such as pneumonia.

How Does Oxygen Therapy Help Emphysema Patients?

Oxygen therapy provides you with more oxygen for your lungs, which can help ease symptoms of emphysema. You might benefit from using it throughout your day or only when you are physically active depending on how severe your symptoms are.

What Are the Surgery Options for Emphysema Treatment?

Surgery options for severe cases of emphysema include lung volume reduction surgery and lung transplant surgery. Lung volume reduction surgery involves taking out small portions of damaged tissue in your lungs. This allows healthy tissue to help you breathe better. Lung transplant surgery is done when patients have lung tissue that is severely damaged and there are no other effective options available.

What Are the Four Stages of Emphysema?

The four stages of emphysema start with Stage 1, which is a very mild stage. Stage 2 is the moderate stage, while Stage 3 is the severe stage. Stage 4 is a very severe stage that is associated with low levels of blood oxygen, resulting in more serious breathing problems.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Emphysema?

Common causes of emphysema include long-term exposure to certain substances that can affect your lungs, such as cigarette or tobacco smoke, air pollutants, fumes and particles from some chemicals.

Can Your Lungs Recover from Emphysema?

Your breathing can improve with the right treatment. However, your lungs do not recover from emphysema on a long-term basis. Instead, this condition slowly gets worse over time.

What is the Life Expectancy of Someone with Emphysema?

The life expectancy of someone with this condition varies based on many factors, such as how severe their symptoms are. With proper treatment, those who have emphysema can slow down the progression of this disease and maintain a good quality of life.

What Are the Symptoms of End-Stage Emphysema?

End-stage emphysema generally causes severe, frequent shortness of breath, especially with physical activity. For example, climbing stairs can make it very difficult to breathe. At this stage, patients might also be more prone to developing acute lung infections, such as pneumonia, and experience extreme fatigue.

If you have symptoms of emphysema contact MXBowen, Physician, PC for an appointment. Dr. Bowen can diagnose and provide treatment options for emphysema.

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