COPD Home > The Final Phases of Emphysema

Moderate Emphysema
In the moderate stage of emphysema, the breathing test shows a worsening airflow limitation. Usually the symptoms have increased. Shortness of breath usually develops when working hard, walking fast, or doing other brisk activity. At this stage of emphysema, a person usually seeks medical attention.
Severe Emphysema
In the severe stage of emphysema, the breathing test shows severe airflow limitation. A person is short of breath after just a little activity. In very severe emphysema, complications like respiratory failure or signs of right heart failure may develop. At this stage of emphysema, the quality of life is greatly impaired and the worsening symptoms may be life threatening.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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