Causes of Emphysema
Smoking tobacco is the cause of most types of emphysema. Cases of emphysema caused by all other etiologies are termed as secondary emphysema. The lung condition can also be caused by A1AD or alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. Certain types of emphysema are thought to be a part of the normal aging process and can be found in some elderly people whose lungs has undergone deterioration due to advanced age. Although all elderly people develop emphysema, all of them are at risk of incurring decreased respiratory functions. Emphysema can also develop by any process that makes the body unable to inhibit the proteolytic enzymes within the lung. This can be second hand tobacco smoke, exposure to air pollution, toxins or other chemicals.