Finding out that you have a threatening disease can be frightening. Finding out that you have emphysema is one of those diseases. It is chronic and can get worse. While it’s not certain how long one can live with emphysema, the better condition your lungs are in the more likely you can deal living with it. People have been known to live a long time with the disease but it is always good to never give up on taking care of your health despite the prognosis.