Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema (Lungs and Chest)
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema (Lungs and Chest)
1. Usually begins with “smoker’s cough”- a regular morning cough that bring up mucus.
2. As the disease progresses, coughing becomes more persistent and you find yourself short of breath.
3. In the final stages, coughing and wheezing are almost nonstop.
1. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms.
Later symptoms include:
1. A persistent, dry cough.
2. Shortness of breath: at first, only with exertion; later, with any physical activity.
3. In the late stages, the chest may become distended and barrel-shaped from air trapped inside lungs.
4. Weight loss.
5. Recurring infections of the lungs.
What to do now
1. If you smoke, quit. Smoking is by far the main cause of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. But studies show that giving up tobacco – even after symptoms appear- can greatly slow lung damage.
2. Get an annual flu shot and a vaccination against pneumonia.
Stay inside if the air is unusually polluted, and avoid smoky places.
3. Exercise moderately but regularly in good-quality air.
4. Take good care of yourself, and if you get a lung infection, have it promptly treated.
When to call a doctor
1. If you have a lasting, mild cough that doesn’t go away for months.
2. If you regularly become breathless after mild exertion, such as climbing a flight of stairs.
How to prevent it
1. Don’t smoke.
2. Treat bronchitis promptly to guard against.