Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Quitting smoking can slow the worsening of emphysema symptoms.

Quitting smoking can slow the worsening of emphysema symptoms.
beginning of content

Emphysema symptoms

The symptoms of emphysema depend on how severe the underlying lung disease has become.

People with emphysema often have shortness of breath, which when severe can occur when they are resting.

They also often have:

  • a persistent cough
  • production of phlegm
  • wheezing
  • swelling of the feet and legs, which can be a sign of heart problems.
  • If you have emphysema, you may find that the periods of breathlessness become more frequent and that you are continually short of breath, even when sitting or lying down.

    At times, the symptoms may get worse suddenly and this may indicate you should see a doctor - for example, in case you need antibiotics for a chest infection.

    Last reviewed: November 2016

    Need more information?

    These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

    Found 139 results

    Emphysema

    Emphysema Category: Lung and Airway Health Topic: Emphysema Send by email View as PDF Send by post Emphysema is a condition where there is an over-inflation of structures in the lungs known as alveoli or air sacs

    Read more on Queensland Health website

    Emphysema | Better Health Channel

    Read more on Better Health Channel website

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin - Lab Tests Online AU

    To help diagnose the cause of early onset emphysema and/or liver disease. To establish the risk of developing alpha-1 antitrypsin-related emphysema and/or liver disease and the likelihood that children might inherit the risk

    Read more on Lab Tests Online website

    Health Impacts of Wood Smoke

    Wood smoke contains fine particles which are breathed into the lungs. They irritate the bronchial tubes and affect those with pre-existing lung disease, especially asthma, chronic bronchitis & emphysema.

    Read more on Lung Foundation Australia website

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD - myDr.com.au

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term (chronic) condition that affects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

    Read more on myDr website

    Lung conditions - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) | Better Health Channel

    Read more on Better Health Channel website

    Bicarbonate - Lab Tests Online AU

    Usually as part of a renal profile (collection of tests which help investigate the kidney) to screen for an electrolyte or acid-base imbalance in conditions known to cause such disturbances, or to monitor a known imbalance

    Read more on Lab Tests Online website

    Physiotherapy | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

    Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

    Lung Function Tests

    Lung function tests provide an easy way of measuring the function of the lungs without the need to physically examine the lungs themselves.

    Read more on Lung Foundation Australia website

    Smoking and anaesthesia - ANZCA

    Read more on ANZCA – Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists website

    Check your symptoms Find a health service

    Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

    24 hour health advice and information you can count on

    1800 022 222

    Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

    We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

    Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
    Feedback