What are the symptoms of emphysema?

Symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath, fatigue and a chronic cough, suggests David Kamrava, MD, of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center. Watch this video to learn more.
Symptoms of emphysema will get worse as the disease progresses. It usually starts with trouble breathing and an inability to catch your breath after physical activity. Many people develop a cough that won't go away and experience tightness in their chest. You may begin to wheeze and find that exercise becomes increasingly difficult. Many people also lose weight and deal with constant fatigue. Morning headaches and sleep problems are also common to emphysema. If you think you might have emphysema, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

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.