There are two main phenotypes of Emphysema
1 Centrilobular most commonly caused by smoking with genetics and air pollution having less effect
2 Panacinar most commonly found among the 3% with Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Both of these come under the common COPD umbrella most commonly labelled a smoking related condition and not worth any sympathy from the general public or the doctors who see COPD as self inflicted.
I have Panacinar Emphysema and Non Alcoholic Liver Disease both caused by Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency and having never smoked or drank I receive the same terrible attitude that public opinion has been educated with.
Patients with Lung Cancer that have smoked heavily are given far better understanding than non smoking COPD patient and I believe this is caused by the superior education and publicity provided by the groups involved with Lung Cancer.
Changing the public s opinion of COPD should be a priority for all who suffer now and in the future.