What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Emphysema?

What are the causes and symptoms of emphysema

Emphysema, a type of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is a progressive disease of lung. It can destroy your alveoli gradually, and then make it hard for you to breathe. There is some information about its causes and symptoms for you.


  • Smoking. Smoking cigarette is the most common cause of emphysema. The smoke can damage the alveoli.
  • Second-hand smoke. There are researches showing that the secondhand smokers are more likely than the smokers themselves to have emphysema.
  • Air pollution. The polluted air can also weaken the function of your lungs, but this progress is gradual.
  • Infections. For example, pneumocystis cabrinii can lead to inflammatory changes in your lungs.
  • Deficiency of Alpha-1 antitrypsin. Usually, this deficiency is caused by genetic problems and people who have this disease may get emphysema at their young age.


You may live with emphysema for many years without realizing any signs of it. Actually, emphysema is a kind of chronic disease. You should pay more attention to your body condition. The symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is the main symptom of emphysema and becomes severe as your condition develops.
  • Wheezing. Wheezing is the sound that you make during inhaling or exhaling.
  • Barrel-shaped chest. Your chest may become barrel-shaped because the lungs are over inflated and the ribs expand.
  • Chest pain. The difficulty in breathing can cause your chest pain.
  • Chronic cough.
  • Frequent respiratory infections.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Improper sleep.
  • Sexual function deterioration.

Anyway, you should keep frequent contact with your doctor in order to receive correct treatments.


Keywords: causes and symptoms of Emphysema; causes of Emphysema; symptoms of Emphysema.


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