What are the signs and symptoms of emphysema?

What are the signs and symptoms of emphysema?

The symptoms of emphysema come on gradually. The earliest symptom is shortness of breath with exercise. Most patients will have episodes of coughing up colored or thick mucus, shortness of breath, wheeze and fever called bronchitis. As the lung disease gets worse, the shortness of breath with exercise becomes more severe and the episodes of bronchitis become more frequent. The cough may not go away. Patients frequently have a deeper a “barrel-shaped” chest and take a longer time to breathe out than usual. Severe emphysema can result in heart failure with swelling in the ankles. Fingertips and toes may get a purple/blue discoloration.

To learn more:

Emphysema: Signs and Symptoms
This site from the well-known Mayo Clinic describes the symptoms of emphysema and also provides information about causes and treatment.
Emphysema: Symptoms
(Aetna InteliHealth)
Aetna, Inc., the insurance company, Harvard Medical School, and Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, provide information about emphysema.
Emphysema: Symptoms
(Emedicine®:Consumer Health)
Learn about symptoms from this consumer health site which is owned and operated by a private company. All content is written and reviewed by physicians.

next » How do I know if I am at risk for emphysema?

Written by: Lillian Trettin, Ph.D.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Thursday January 09, 2014 2:34 PM