What are the symptoms of emphysema?
People with 'mild' emphysema have symptoms only shortness of breath on exertion, such as extended walks, exercise, etc. These symptoms are usually more than would be expected in people without lung disease, but are less than those with moderate or severe emphysema, in which symptoms occur with little exertion (such as getting about the house), or even at
Common symptoms of emphysema also include unexplained weight loss; increased chest size (barrel chest); wheezing or labored breathing (or reduced breath sounds); a productive cough yielding large amounts of dark, thick phlegm or mucus; and a lingering cough, often dismissed as "smoker's cough."
The changes of emphysema also interfere with the passage of blood through the small blood vessels of the lung. As interference grows, the heart must work harder to pump blood. The heart may enlarge under the strain and eventually give out. This type of heart failure is often an end result of emphysema.
Other symptoms of emphysema may be skipped breaths, insomnia or frequent nocturnal waking, memory loss, morning headaches, impotence, nasal flaring, blurred vision, increased breathing difficulty while lying down, chronic fatigue, impaired concentration, atypical irritability or loss of temper, excessive daytime sleepiness, and swelling of feet, ankles, or legs. If any of these symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
More information on emphysema
What is emphysema? - Emphysema is a lung disease that reduces the ability of the lungs to expel air, a process which depends upon the elastic properties of the lungs.
What causes emphysema? - Cigarette smoking is the major cause of emphysema. Among other causes of emphysema are industrial pollutants, aerosol sprays, non-tobacco smoke.
What're the risk factors for emphysema? - The primary risk factor for the development of emphysema is tobacco abuse. Air pollution is another risk factor for emphysema.
What are the complications of emphysema? - Emphysema patients are at increased risk of contracting recurrent respiratory infections and lung cancer. Emphysema is a very serious disease.
What are the symptoms of emphysema? - Symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath on exertion, unexplained weight loss, increased chest size, wheezing or labored breathing.
How is emphysema diagnosed? - Diagnosis of emphysema begins with a medical history and physical examination. Lung function tests can identify emphysema in Stage 0.
What's the treatment for emphysema? - No treatment can reverse or stop emphysema, but steps can be taken to relieve symptoms, treat complications and minimize disability.
How to prevent emphysema? - Many risk factors for emphysema can be completely eliminated. The best method to prevent emphysema is to avoid smoking.