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Prevention of Emphysema

Continuing research is being done to find answers to many questions about emphysema, especially about the best ways to prevent the disease. Medical research clearly reveals quitting smoking can prevent the occurrence and decrease the progression of emphysema. Other environmental controls can also help prevent the disease. If an individual has emphysema, your doctor will work hard to prevent the disease from getting worse by keeping the patient healthy and clear of any infection. The patient can participate in this prevention effort by following doctor's general health suggestions.

Emphysema is a serious disease. It damages your lungs, and it can damage your heart. See your doctor at the first sign of symptoms.

DON'T SMOKE. A majority of those who get emphysema are smokers. Continued smoking makes emphysema worse, especially for those who have AAT deficiency, the inherited form of emphysema.

Maintain overall good health and healthyhabits, which include proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and regular exercise to build up your stamina and resistance to infections.
Reduce your exposure to air pollution, which may aggravate symptoms of emphysema. Refer to radio or television weather reports or your local newspaper for information about air quality. On days when the ozone (smog) level is unhealthy, restrict your activity to early morning or evening.

When pollution levels are dangerous, remain indoors and stay as comfortable as possible.

Consult your doctor at the start of any cold or respiratory injection because infection can make your emphysema symptoms worse.

Ask about getting vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia. To receive more information about emphysema, contact your local American Lung Association office.

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