Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
George Schiffman, MD, FCCP
Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.
In this Article
- Emphysema facts
- Introduction to emphysema
- What is emphysema?
- What are the causes or risk factors for emphysema?
- What are symptoms of emphysema?
- How is emphysema diagnosed?
- Physical examination
- Exams and tests
- What are the stages of emphysema?
- What is the treatment for emphysema?
- Smoking cessation
- Medications for emphysema
- Pulmonary rehabilitation for emphysema
- What is the prognosis and life-expectancy of a person with emphysema?
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) FAQs
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
What are the stages of emphysema?
Emphysema staging helps determine how much lung damage is present and how severe it is. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) uses FEV1 measurements to help with this determination:
|I = mild||greater than or equal to 80% predicted|
|II = moderate||less than 80%, greater than 50% predicted|
|III = severe||Less than 50%, greater than 30% predicted|
|IV = very severe||Less than 30% predicted, or less than 50% in chronic respiratory failure|
What is the treatment for emphysema?
Emphysema is not a curable disease, once lung damage has occurred it cannot be reversed. The goal of treatment is to stop further lung destruction and preserve lung function. The patient needs to know that the focus is on improving quality of life and limiting the intrusion of emphysema on daily activities. Emphysema tends not to be the primary cause of death, but can be a contributing factor to other organ failure.
The number one treatment goal is to have the patient stop smoking. Education, counseling, support groups and medication may be used. Moreover, prevention is most important, and not starting to smoke is much easier than helping a person to quit smoking.
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