Medical Definition of Emphysema

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Emphysema: is a lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air due to enlargement and destruction of the lung's many tiny air sacs resulting in the formation of scar tissue. The destruction of the air sacs and formation of scar tissue is permanent and the disease is incurable, however medication may be helpful to ease symptoms. Emphysema is strongly associated with smoking cigarettes. The best response to the early warning signs of emphysema is to stop smoking.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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