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Early stages of Emphysema: Protect yourself before COPD worsens

July 20, 2012 • Emphysema Stages

Early stages of Emphysema: Introduction

There are millions of people being affected by early stages of emphysema in their lives. American Lung Association marked that about 3.7 million citizens of America were diagnosed with emphysema disease. Early stages of Emphysema begin with little distortion in alveoli and its inside tissues. These lung changes makes tougher air exchange and leads to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The main cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking or protein deficiency. Most of the people don’t recognize early stages of emphysema and hence, it grows to higher stages. There are four stages of emphysema: At-risk, mild, moderate and severe. Early stages of emphysema include at-risk and mild stages. Medical care is essential to extend lung functioning properly and prohibit emphysema to grow.

Early stages of Emphysema diagnosis

There are many Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) conducted for early stages of emphysema to determine the capacity of inhalation and exhalation of lungs. Spirometer testing is very common to detect lung diseases. Warning signals might vary from one person to another and hence, doctor diagnoses different symptoms in variable way.

Early Stages of Emphysema Symptoms

Common early stages of emphysema indicators are:

  • Breath shortness: It is a common symptom of emphysema and shortness of breath is commonly termed as dyspnea. It is not excessive in early stages of emphysema, but felt by a few people only. The reason for dyspnea is due to inflation of lungs and worn out tissues inside them. The signals are negligible in at-risk stage and very minor in mild stage of emphysema.
  • Wheezing: This can be signal of a lung problem and happens due to infection or allergy. It is a common symptom for early stages of emphysema. Wheezing is basically a noise, which is heard even with normal breathing procedure.
  • Chronic cough: Cough is one of the symptoms related to early emphysema stages. Coughing gets severe during morning and it might accompany yellowish green septum discharge.
  • Sputum production increases: This change is a warning for emphysema. The increase in sputum and change in its color & texture are commonly seen in early emphysema.
  • Appetite loss: Loss of appetite is seen in early stages of emphysema. This results into weight loss and a person starts looking thinner than before.
  • Fatigue and body aches: Fatigue is common in emphysema patients and it is mainly due to lack of oxygen entering into lungs. This fatigue can also contribute in shortening of breath and becomes stressful for patients. Emphysema patients get tired even after doing small regular tasks.

Early stages of Emphysema brings physical and habitual changes

Physical changes are not very common in initial stages, but it goes very common in severe cases. The person will start appearing weak and tired always. They will continuously cough, wheeze and get shortened breathing problems. They will have to keep their heads elevated by pillows, while sleeping as it doesn’t produce excessive mucus discharge. Their sitting, standing and walking is affected by this problem. They might get severe headaches, dizziness and discomfort in routine.

Many people also report that they have become forgetful and dilemmatic after detection of emphysema. They get persistent fatigue and feel non-energetic. Some patients even get loss of sleep, which is another symptom of early stages of emphysema.

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