PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What causes emphysema?

ANSWER

Emphysema comes on gradually after years of exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke. With emphysema, the walls of the tiny air sacs that allow oxygen exchange in the lungs become damaged, so less air gets in and out of the lungs. This causes you to feel short of breath.

SOURCES: American Lung Association: ''Need Help For Treatment Decisions with COPD?'' and ''Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Fact Sheet.'' The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: ''COPD: Learn to Breathe Better.'' Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): GOLD Guidelines At-A-Glance Desk Reference.


Reviewed by Paul Boyce on March 15, 2019

SOURCES: American Lung Association: ''Need Help For Treatment Decisions with COPD?'' and ''Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Fact Sheet.'' The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: ''COPD: Learn to Breathe Better.'' Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): GOLD Guidelines At-A-Glance Desk Reference.


Reviewed by Paul Boyce on March 15, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What happens when someone with emphysema or chronic bronchitis catches a cold?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: