IN THIS ARTICLE
Emphysema is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. It is a chronic, progressive disease that affects the quality of life at least as much as the length of life.
Similar to many chronic diseases, the prognosis is affected by too many variables to be discussed here. There is no cure, but there are effective methods of treatment, which can slow the progression of the disease and allow for a normal life.
In short, the diagnosis of emphysema is not a death sentence. Rather, it is a medical condition that should prompt you to take an active role in the management of your disease. Quitting smoking is the best first step. Regular visits to your doctor and taking medications as prescribed are also very important. However, the prognosis decreases if the individual decides to continue to smoke.
Medically reviewed by James E Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014
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