Emphysema damages your lung tissue and makes it hard to breathe. It is a chronic lung condition, which means it gets worse with time. If left untreated, this can lead to serious medical problems, including:
Pulmonary bleb. A pulmonary bled is a small pocket of air located between the lung and the lung’s outer surface. If they rupture, trapped air is released into the chest cavity, which can cause other problems like a collapsed lung.
Bullae. A bullous is a large space that forms in the lungs. This reduces your lung’s ability to expand, further disrupting lung function. Bullae can take up as much as half of your lung space. Like blebs, bullae can rupture and cause a collapsed lung.
Collapsed lung (pneumothorax). This is a serious but rare complication. It happens when air gets into your chest cavity and puts pressure on the lung, causing it to collapse. A collapsed lung can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. If you have a collapsed lung, you may experience sharp chest pain and very sudden shortness of breath.