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Awareness of a disease and its symptoms can lead to an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.  The diagnosis and prompt treatment are very important, especially with emphysema patients, because they can help minimize harmful effects and prevent the disease from causing further damage.

The most occurring symptoms found in emphysema patients are shortness of breath and cough.  In addition, more accurate ways to determine if a person has emphysema include chest x-rays, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, and the “forced expiratory volume at one second” test, which measures how much a person can breathe out in one second (2003).  Once a person has been diagnosed with emphysema, the doctor can determine which treatments will be most effective for the individual's case.

Therefore, it is very important to be aware of the major symptoms and to seek medical attention if it is needed. Otherwise, if left alone, the disease can cause considerably more harm than if it was attended to immediately.

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