What types of jobs increase my risk for emphysema?

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Any job that exposes you to harsh airborne chemicals or particulate matter can increase your risk for developing emphysema. Two examples are miners and furnace workers. Both jobs require employees to inhale toxic fumes on a daily basis. Textile workers, plastics manufacturers, welders, construction workers, and utilities workers are also at higher risk for the same reason. Similarly, food preparation or manufacturing workers who are exposed to smoke and chemicals used in food preparation without proper ventilation also have a higher risk for developing 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.