The prevention of emphysema is closely linked to the prevention of smoking. The only risk factor for this disease that you can control is the smoking of cigarettes. Those who are daily smokers put themselves and their health at increasing risk with every pack of cigarettes and with every year they continue to smoke.
Flare-ups of emphysema can be prevented by taking medications as prescribed and seeking medical care for any signs or symptoms of respiratory infection or shortness of breath. Also, if you have emphysema, you should keep current on vaccines that can prevent respiratory infection. It is important to obtain the pneumococcal vaccine every 5 years, and the influenza virus vaccine every year, before flu season.