Emphysema (Lung Condition) (cont.)

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What are the signs and symptoms of emphysema?

Emphysema is a progressive disease with the most common and characteristic symptoms of cough and shortness of breath caused by prolonged smoke exposure.

Affected individuals with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency tend to develop symptoms of emphysema at earlier ages. Emphysema is a subtype of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD in the US; COLD, chronic obstructive lung disease in the United Kingdom). Most patients, except in those in whose disease is the result of a genetic deficiency (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency), have variable manifestations of the different components of COPD which include:

Each of the subtypes has characteristic symptoms; those primarily associated with emphysema are shortness of breath and wheezing. Initially the shortness of breath (dyspnea) occurs with activity; as time continues and the disease progresses, the episodes of dyspnea occur more frequently eventually occurring at rest making routine daily activities difficult to perform and thus alters the lifestyle.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014

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Emphysema - Experience Question: Please share your experience with emphysema.
Emphysema - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with emphysema?
Emphysema - Risk Factors Question: What risk factors do you have for emphysema? If so, what lifestyle changes do you plan to implement to prevent progressive emphysema?
Emphysema - Treatments Question: What treatments have been helpful in treating emphysema?
Emphysema - Diagnosis Question: What kinds of tests and exams did you have that led to a diagnosis of emphysema?
Emphysema - Causes Question: If known, what was the cause of your emphysema?
Emphysema - Smoking Question: Are/were you a smoker prior to your emphysema diagnosis? If you've stopped, what worked for you?