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Hello! My grandmother has emphysema. Her condition is worsening each year although she is under constant supervision of her doctor. She stopped smoking five years ago and she was on broncho-dilatators for some time. Soon after that her doctor started with steroids and now she uses home-based oxygen tank with a portable units that enable her to be engaged in normal activities. How does emphysema developes in the first place?

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Hello! Cigarette smoking is the main reason for developing of emphysema. Also a deficiency of an enzyme called alpha-1-antitrypsin, air pollution; asthma, heredity and age are important risk factors that may cause emphysema. Cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue and causes inflammation and irritation of airways that can cause airways obstruction. You said your grandmother used to smoke, well, that was most probably the most important reason for developing of emphysema. Other risk factors like age and air pollution only contributed.
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