What is Emphysema?
Emphysema is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that damages the tiny sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. As a result, the lung sacs become abnormally large and air becomes trapped making is hard for a person to breathe.
Emphysema is part of a lung disease known as COPD. We offer lots of information on COPD, including emphysema, in our COPD section
In 80-90% of cases, emphysema is caused by smoking. Occupational exposure to dusts and some fumes is the other major risk factor. Exposure to second-hand smoke and indoor air pollution may play a role as well.
Not smoking is the best way to prevent emphysema. Quiting for those diagnosed can slow the progression of the disease