Emphysema is a condition that causes excessive shortness of breath. This usually occurs due to air sacs in the lungs not working properly and being destroyed by air-borne pollutants. Emphysema comes under the umbrella of what are known as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD)’s. Smoking is one of the major causes of emphysema. With treatment emphysema can be controlled but unfortunately the damage that has occurred can’t be reversed.
If you suffer from emphysema you might qualify for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit and other benefits.
Long-term exposure to one or more of the air-borne irritants below can lead to emphysema:
- Smoking/Tobacco smoke
- Air pollution
- Fumes from manufacturing plants
- Marijuana smoke
- Dust from coal and silica (miners are at risk)
In very rare cases emphysema can also be caused due to an inherited protein deficiency known as Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Since emphysema primarily results in shortness of breath that develops gradually over the years, you might suffer with emphysema for many years without being aware of any major symptoms. Sometimes even a little over-exertion like climbing stairs or lifting groceries can cause shortness of breath so you may realize that you’re starting to avoid some of these activities altogether.
When shortness of breath starts interfering with daily tasks, this is usually when you should be concerned and go see your doctor. You need to get immediate attention from a doctor if you’re finding it so hard to catch a breath that you can’t even speak, your fingernails or lips start to turn gray or blue, you’re not alert or you have an exceptionally high heartbeat. One key factor to realize is that emphysema in the advanced stages ultimately causes shortness of breath, even at times of inactivity or while you are at rest.
Disability Tax Credits for Emphysema
If emphysema is affecting your ability to function, you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can apply for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit under more than one category, including, but not limited to walking, dressing, feeding and mental functions. HandyTax is there to help you claim tax benefits in Canada – ask for a FREE consultation today!