Emphysema is a kind of COPD, and it can cause severe breathing issues. The doctors at Internal Medicine & Family Practice physician in Joliet, IL can help patients feel better again at last.

Emphysema Q&A

What Is Emphysema?

Emphysema is a lung disease that is categorized as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD.) People who have emphysema are unable to expel old air to take in fresh air due to damaged air sacs (alveoli) inside the lungs.

  1. This leads to breathing problems.

Who Gets Emphysema?

In most cases, people who get emphysema are cigarette smokers or past smokers. Secondhand smoke, exposure to air pollution, and dust exposure can also contribute to emphysema. The older a person gets, the higher the chances of developing emphysema. However, older adults who don't smoke or have significant exposure to smoke, dust, or pollution are quite unlikely to develop emphysema.

What Are the Indicators of Emphysema?

Breathing problems are the clearest indicators of emphysema. This shortness of breath can occur at any point but is usually most noticeable after some type of physical exertion. Wheezing is a common result of fighting to breathe freely. Some people with emphysema feel a tightening in their chest at times, and they may even suffer from chest pain.

How Can Emphysema be Diagnosed?

There are a couple of tests that can determine whether a patient is dealing with emphysema. Sometimes the symptoms of emphysema can be similar to those of heart problems, so having these tests done is very important when patients are showing any potential symptoms. A chest x-ray is usually done to eliminate heart failure as a cause of the symptoms. Lung function tests, during which the patient expels air from their lungs to check the capacity of the lungs, may be performed to help diagnose emphysema. It is also common for the doctor to test blood oxygen levels to help determine whether emphysema is causing the patient's problems.

How Can Emphysema be Treated?

Emphysema treatment is usually multi-part until the doctor and patient determine exactly what works best for their particular case. Many people find relief with bronchodilators (inhalers,) antibiotic medication, or even supplemental oxygen if needed.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Internal Medicine & Family Practice, we accept most major medical insurance plans. Here is a short list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield
United Healthcare
Internal Medicine & Family Practice
1719 Glenwood Ave
Joliet, IL 60435
Phone: 815-741-3532
Fax: 815-741-3736
Office Hours

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