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How can emphysema be dormant for so many years?

I haven’t smoked in over 24 years. I was just diagnosed with emphysema. How can emphysema be dormant for so many years.


Community Answers
  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi Rex1 and thanks for your post. You may be aware we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety). However, you probably also know that smoking is not the only cause or risk factor associated with COPD. Emphysema can be an insidious disease, quietly progressing with barely noticeable symptoms. There can be a point in time when it finally manifests itself more noticeably and that could be just the point at which you were diagnosed. Since you’ve stated you were recently diagnosed, I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article which reviews the basics of COPD: https://copd.net/basics/. Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

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