- Understanding COPD Slideshow
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Quiz
- Energy Foods for COPD Slideshow Pictures
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) FAQs
- Patient Comments: Emphysema - Experience
- Patient Comments: Emphysema - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Emphysema - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Emphysema - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Emphysema - Causes
- Patient Comments: Emphysema - Smoking
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
- Emphysema facts
- What is emphysema?
- What are the stages of emphysema?
- What causes emphysema?
- What are the risk factors for emphysema?
- What are the signs and symptoms of emphysema?
- How is emphysema diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for emphysema?
- Quitting smoking
- Emphysema medications
- Surgery for emphysema
- Pulmonary rehabilitation for emphysema
- What is the life expectancy and outlook for someone with emphysema?
Quick GuideCOPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
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.