Emphysema - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with emphysema?

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What are the signs and symptoms of emphysema?

In most people, emphysema starts to produce signs and symptoms as the person ages; usually symptoms start developing around age 50, but many can develop symptoms even before age 50.

The onset often develops gradually, and disease is well established before symptoms occur.

The first symptoms frequently vary depending on the degree of emphysema verses bronchitis that the individual has. If more bronchitis is present, the person may cough producing sputum and/or acute chest discomfort also occurs.

As emphysema progresses the most significant symptom becomes breathlessness, especially with any exertion. Wheezing also may occur. It is common for a middle aged person with emphysema to complain that they are unable to keep up with their partner when walking.

People with alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency usually experience the above symptoms, but at a much earlier age and also may have liver dysfunction.

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