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Emphysema – Stages & Life Expectancy

Along with bronchiectasis and chronic bronchitis, emphysema is a form of COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This lung condition occurs when the tiny air sacs, also known as alveoli, are damaged. These parts are responsible for exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen. Therefore, emphysema might lead to trapped air, causing your lungs to rupture and expand. Over time, the level of oxygen in the bloodstream will reduce, while the level of carbon dioxide will increase. Emphysema goes through different stages with different symptoms. This guide will show you some basic facts about these phases and life expectancy for people with this disease.

4 Stages of Emphysema

Stage 1 – Mild Emphysema

This is the earliest stage of emphysema. People in this phase might have some airflow limitation. However, these symptoms are so subtle that it can be hard to notice. For instance, you would experience increased production of mucus or persistent cough, which are quite similar to a normal fever or cold. In some cases, there would even be no sign at all. Due to these low-grade symptoms, you do not need to seek medical treatments at this stage. [1]