How can I care for someone with emphysema?


Your responsibilities as a caregiver for someone with emphysema will depend on the severity of the condition. People who catch their emphysema early enough may not need any help. Those with more severe cases, on the other hand, may be very dependent on their caregiver. Emphysema can make even the simplest daily task difficult, requiring a caregiver to help with everything from getting dressed to personal hygiene. You're also likely to be responsible for making sure your loved one or patient follows their treatment plan. This may involve taking medication on a daily basis and some type of physical exercise as well. If the emphysema is severe enough to warrant supplemental oxygen, you'll need to be in charge of that as well. This may require checking oxygen levels, storing spare tanks, and swapping them out when necessary. Talk to a doctor about what other responsibilities you might have as a caregiver.

Continue Learning about Emphysema


Emphysema is difficulty breathing due to air trapped in the lung, resulting in reduced lung capacity. Smoking is usually the cause, as it damages the linings of the air sacs in the lungs making them close. This leads to areas of t...

rapped air in your lungs. Other causes may include coal dust and other pollutants. Your lungs enlarge to compensate, but there are limits to this. Treatment may be medical and include oxygen support, medication and respiratory therapy. Of course stopping smoking is always recommended. Surgical treatment by cutting out damaged portions of the lungs and reducing lung volume is also effective.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.