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The prevention of emphysema is closely linked to the prevention of smoking. The primary risk factor for this disease that you can control is the smoking of cigarettes. Those who are daily smokers put themselves and their health at increasing risk with every pack of cigarettes and with every year they continue to smoke. For individuals that have emphysema caused by other causes such as air pollution, avoiding the pollution is the best first step toward prevention.
Flare-ups of emphysema can be reduced or prevented by taking medications as prescribed and seeking medical care for any signs or symptoms of respiratory infection or shortness of breath. Also, if you have emphysema, you should keep current on vaccines that can prevent respiratory infection. It is important to obtain the pneumococcal vaccine every 5 years and the influenza virus vaccine every year, before flu season.
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