medical IDs for emphysema

Medical IDs for Emphysema

related article: COPD

The confidence to live with emphysema

Emphysema is a chronic disease that requires an increasing amount of treatment. Because this disease affects the airways, emergencies can happen fast. There may be very little time to explain the information necessary to an emergency healthcare worker. If there is an accident or the condition is advanced, clear communication is necessary to convey a basic medical background.

A medical emergency is often chaotic and emotional. By wearing an emphysema bracelet, the important data is clear, easy to understand, and always there when you need it.

That’s why medical IDs for emphysema are so crucial for those living with this condition.

How MedicAlert protects those living with emphysema

One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with emphysema.

24/7 Emergency Response

Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.

Digital Health Profile

All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.

Emergency Contact Notification

In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.

Patient Instructions

Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.

Pair a medical ID for emphysema with the protection plan that’s right for you.

Types of emphysema

There are three types of emphysema. Each type still affects the lungs and is progressive by nature.

  1. Centriacinar emphysema affects the airways and the central acinus.
  2. Panacinar emphysema affects the entire acinus.
  3. Paraseptal emphysema is described as the lesion of pulmonary bullous disease.

A medical professional can diagnose emphysema after ordering X-rays; after a physical exam of the patient, a doctor will likely recommend image testing. A chest X-ray can help show which kind of emphysema a patient has by capturing where the lung is damaged.

The most common type is centriacinar emphysema. This is found in the upper area of the lungs and continues to progress over time. With specific medications to reduce muscle tension, breathing is often easier with all types of emphysema.

Regardless of which part of the lung is affected, emphysema causes a restriction of airflow. It is the permanent enlargement of lung air spaces with the destruction of their walls without any fibrosis and destruction of lung parenchyma with loss of elasticity.

The difference between COPD and emphysema

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term to categorize a group of lung conditions. Emphysema is just one of the lung conditions that fall within this category.

Lung diseases are the number three cause of death in the United States. Because it directly affects breathing, it requires prompt care even if the disease is ongoing. COPD is a long-term condition that currently has no cure.

COPD can include multiple different diseases such as bronchiectasis and chronic bronchitis. These diseases interfere with the ability to breathe normally and they often increase in severity. Chest pain and mucus in the airways are common as the disease progresses.

A patient cannot be diagnosed with emphysema if they do not have COPD. A patient can, however, be diagnosed with COPD without having emphysema.

Emphysema is a severe lung condition. The lungs are damaged beyond repair and may affect the air sacs within the lungs. Although emphysema is commonly linked to smoking cigarettes, there are other reasons for the diagnosis.

What causes emphysema?

According to the American Lung Association, over three million people in the United States have emphysema. In addition to smoking cigarettes, air pollutants and respiratory infections can cause this disease

Emphysema is a progressive disease that gets worse over time. As the lungs are increasingly damaged, the air sacs begin to rupture. When there is one large air pocket instead of several small ones, oxygen is prevented from flowing through the bloodstream. This air blockage makes it difficult to breathe.

The signs of emphysema may take years to notice. Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and a productive cough are all symptoms. Although there is no cure, medical treatments are available to manage these symptoms and medical IDs for emphysema can ensure correct timely treatment when time is of the essence.

What to engrave on MedicAlert medical IDs for emphysema:

MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our emphysema bracelets and medical ID products. Engravings medical IDs for emphysema should include any critical medical information that can protect and save your life if you are in an accident or have a medical emergency, for example:

  • Emphysema
  • Allergies 
  • Other medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Any additional medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
medical IDs for emphysema

Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for emphysema.

Symptoms of emphysema

Since emphysema is a chronic and progressive lung disease, the initial symptoms may be difficult to spot. Many people have no symptoms in the beginning.

The initial symptoms include coughing and wheezing. Coughing is minimal at first but will increase in frequency and severity. A productive cough with mucus is likely to occur over time. Shortness of breath is also common, but only when exercising. In general, the early stages of emphysema leave people feeling tired or run down.

As symptoms become more severe this list continues to grow. It is not uncommon to hear a squeaky sound when inhaling and chest pain is likely to occur. The body is often more susceptible to other illnesses in addition to lung conditions. Those with emphysema may also catch frequent colds or experience swelling in the ankles and feet.

Appetite may change as the disease progresses. A decrease in hunger is common and weight loss is likely without a meal schedule. Depression and insomnia are also signs of advancing emphysema. Morning headaches and sexual dysfunction may or may not occur depending on the individual and what stage they are in.

Emphysema treatment

Certain medications can help ease the discomfort that lung conditions cause. Bronchodilator medications are frequently used to relax the muscles located around the airways. Often hand-held inhalants can be used as well.

Lung volume reduction surgery is another treatment available for those with emphysema. This is done by removing part of the diseased lung tissue to relieve pressure. By improving the elasticity of the lung, this can make it easier for the patient to breathe. 

Oxygen therapy is another treatment for advanced lung conditions. A nasal catheter is used so that patients can absorb oxygen from the outside. If an oxygen tank is damaged or impaired, this can be an emergency where the patient needs immediate care.

How a medical ID for emphysema combined with MedicAlert  Membership provides protection

  • We’re your voice:  If you can’t speak for yourself due to an accident or other medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your emphysema and any medications you’re taking.

  • 24/7 emergency protection:  In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.

  • Always connected:  You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.

  • Live with peace of mind and confidence:  MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with emphysema, knowing we’ve got you covered. 
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.