Skip to main content
310-829-7777 BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
Emphysema Santa Monica, CA

Among the diseases included in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) category is emphysema. In most cases, emphysema is caused by cigarette smoking. People who have never smoked but who have been in environments with smokers have also been diagnosed with this chronic condition.

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure for emphysema. There are treatments to help patients manage the disease and assist in breathing easier. Testing helps determine to what extent the lungs have been damaged and how well they are working.

Treatments for emphysema include the use of bronchodilators, which help relax the muscles in the lungs. These drugs are normally used with an inhaler but can also be administered in pill or liquid form. The inhaler is the most effective form and has the least side effects.

Steroids and combination medicines are also used to treat emphysema. These medications reduce the swelling and mucus production in the lungs. They are also inhaled and may be used in combination with a bronchodilator.

Oxygen therapy may be used as emphysema gets worse. Your doctor will determine if you need oxygen, and if so, how much and in what form. Oxygen concentrators filter air and remove other gases in order for you to breathe near-pure oxygen. Liquid oxygen is supercooled, pure oxygen that is stored in a canister. Oxygen cylinders also contain pure oxygen. In this form, the oxygen is stored in large or small tanks under high pressure.

When a protein deficiency is the cause of emphysema, Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) protein therapy may be used to help slow the disease. Normal white blood cells damage the lungs in a person with AAT deficiency. Infusions of the AAT protein can slow emphysema’s progress in these patients.

Other treatment options for emphysema include PDE-4 inhibitors, which are newer drugs. These are taken by mouth and have been shown to improve lung function when they are used with bronchodilators. Mucolytics are used to help thin the mucus in the lungs, so it is easier to cough it up. These drugs may reduce flare-ups in more severe cases of emphysema.

Symptoms of Emphysema

This pulmonary disease gradually destroys lung tissue as it thins and irreparably damages the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. Air pockets form in the lungs and the size of the lungs increases. Air gets trapped in the pockets created by the damaged lung tissue. As the disease advances, the patient has an increasingly difficult time breathing.

Emphysema patients are also more prone to chronic bronchitis. This produces frequent coughing with phlegm that can clog airways, adding to the difficulty in breathing. Daily activities such as exercising, even walking, can become challenging due to shortness of breath.

With a thorough examination, your condition can be diagnosed, and an effective treatment program can be put in place to help you manage your condition. Contact Dr. Michael today to schedule your appointment.

Do You Need Medical Care?

Make an Appointment Today!

Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 25 reviews

Ashly Tucker

I've interacted with Dr. Michael and his staff on several occasions and they have all been nothing but pleasant! Keep up the good work guys! I'll be sending anyone I know who needs a Dr. in Santa Monica your way!

Dolores Niece

Dr. Michael is a brilliant, compassionate doctor who listens and cares for his patient. I have never experienced this quality of medical care anywhere. The staff was very accommodating and made me feel very comfortable. He is the best family physician that we have ever had.

Greg Kove

Dr. Michael is not your average doctor. I feel fortunate to have enjoyed Dr. Michael as my primary GP for over 6 years and have found him to be extremely trustworthy, personable, knowledgeable, honest, thorough, compassionate and non-judgmental. He takes the time to talk to you and to listen to all of your concerns. Dr. Michael is someone you can talk with and he really cares about each one of his patients. He listens and provides suggestions. A patient couldn't ask for a more caring physician than Dr. Michael. The entire office staff is extremely friendly, personable and accommodating. Dr. Michael is a great doctor, mentor and friend. I'm glad I have him as my primary care provider! I am forever grateful to Dr. Michael and strongly recommend him to anyone who desires personalized care.

Gini Holtzman

Dr. Michael takes time to listen, diagnose, and prescribe the best treatment possible. He made me feel comfortable talking to him about all of my health concerns and I left my appointment with answers to all of my questions. Dr Michael really understood what I was feeling both emotionally and physically and communicated that understanding to me.

Jose Hernandez

Dr. Michaels is easy to talk to, down-to-earth as well as smart and competent. It feels more like you’re getting good advice from a personal friend who is also a licensed physician. I have been recommending him to friends and family for years now and with absolutely no complaints. He is always able to fit me into his schedule and help me as promptly as possible. I haven’t had to wait more than twenty minutes after checking in to see him. He is very knowledgeable and polite and is willing to answer all of my questions without being rude or cold.

Alex D.

Dr. Michael is very friendly and easy to talk to. His staff is great and his nurse was absolutely wonderful. I didn’t catch her name but she was quick, very efficient and friendly! I will definitely be sticking around with this doc for as long as I can

Write a review
logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 1260W
Santa Monica, CA 90404

310-829-7777

310-829-9951

Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM