What is Emphysema/COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): is common lung disease. It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

Key Points

Emphysema/COPD symptoms include:

  • Breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing.
  • It’s caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke.
  • Emphysema is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath. In people with emphysema, the air sacs in the lungs (alveoli) are damaged. Over time, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and rupture — creating larger air spaces instead of many small ones. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and, in turn, the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream.
  • Symptoms include shortness of breath, when climbing stairs. Your lips or fingernails turn blue or gray with exertion.

General Overview

Factors that increase your risk of developing emphysema include:

  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Occupational exposure to fumes or dust
  • Exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution

Am I at Risk

People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

For more information please call (603) 347-8810