How do other illnesses affect emphysema?

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There are a number of illnesses that may affect your emphysema by making symptoms worse. The flu, pneumonia, and bacterial infections can all lead to further blockage of your airways and cause complications related to your emphysema. To avoid these circumstances, it is a good idea to get inoculations for the flu and pneumonia, and if you develop an infection, see your doctor immediately about getting started on an antibiotic. Another illness that can affect your airways is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If you suffer from this condition, treatment may help alleviate your symptoms. Emphysema can also cause complications for people with heart problems. Maintaining good health is a vital part of treating emphysema.

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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.
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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.