b. In all cases of chronic cough, asthma, or any disease that produces
pulmonary fibrosis, a diagnosis of emphysema should be considered. Early diagnosis is
difficult, but advanced cases of emphysema are evident by the following symptoms:
Severe dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing).
Abnormal blood gases.
Treatment for emphysema is designed to correct or diminish the causes. For
example, if air pollution, occupational exposure to industrial dust, or cigarette smoke is
causing the problem, the patient must remove himself from these air pollutants as much
as possible. Mist inhalations and supplemental fluids can be used to thin secretions
that are thick. Other treatments designed to combat the cause of the condition can be
used. Bed rest is not the main treatment but can be given when necessary.