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Emphysema

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A form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema is a serious and irreversible condition in which damaged air sacs in the lungs cause a disruption in the amount of oxygen that makes it into the bloodstream when you breathe. It is usually caused by smoking, but may also develop as a result of repeated occupational exposure to dust or fumes. This condition can lead to serious complications such as heart disease or a collapsed lung.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of emphysema or who may be at high risk of developing it due to their routine exposure to air pollutants should be evaluated by a primary care physician such as our doctors at Temple Terrace Primary Care. Our medical team regularly assists patients living in neighborhoods across the Tampa area including Temple Terrace, Wesley Chapel, New Tampa and other communities surrounding the University of South Florida campus to take charge of their emphysema or other forms of COPD. While the disease is not currently curable, its progression can be substantially slowed via certain medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, surgery and other options. Contact us at 813.971.3136 or make an appointment using our online appointment request form.

Emphysema Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath (gradual onset)
  • Bluish color on lips or fingertips
  • Coughing
  • “Pursed-lip” breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Barrel chest

Emphysema Causes

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Indoor/outdoor air pollution
  • Occupational exposure to fumes

Diagnosing Emphysema

  • Blood tests (to rule out an infection)
  • Chest x-ray
  • Lung function test (spirometry)

Treating Emphysema

  • Antibiotic medications
  • Bronchodilators
  • Corticosteriods
  • Pulmonary rehab
  • Smoking cessation program
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Surgery