Can children have emphysema?

While rare, emphysema can develop in children. In most cases, emphysema takes years to develop, usually as the result of smoking. However, in some cases, the disease is caused by a lack of alpha1-antitrypsin protein, which protects your alveoli from damage by a certain enzyme in your body. This protein deficiency can be passed on hereditarily and may lead to early development of emphysema in children, but this is still rare. Damage to the alveoli generally takes years to build up. Another type of emphysema, called lobar emphysema, can develop in children before they are even born. Left untreated, it can be fatal. If you believe your child is displaying symptoms of emphysema, see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and find out what treatment options are available.

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