Hi,yes it is possible to get emphysema at 16 years of age. In fact the incidence is shifting and emphysema is more common in the younger age group. You have to focus on controlling your symptoms and take your inhalers regularly. Steroid inhalers are usually taken twice per day. If you have an exacerbation (flare-up) of your asthma symptoms, you may be advised to take the preventer inhaler more often. Please discuss these options with your doctor, he can guide you. Regards.
I told my PCP and ER docs about my severe shortness of breath on exertion, which sounds very much like what you describe, and they gave me a nebulizer treatment and sent me home. I did not know it but a COPD exacerbation was brewing and it was a matter of a couple of weeks later when I had to be taken to the ER by ambulance, put on a ventilator for 6 days on sedation and many other IV drugs, then another 9 days on the floor. While I was hospitalized my family washed the walls, repainted my room, pulled up the carpet and installed tile, to reduce allergens in my environment. Four months later I passed out one morning during a severe attack, and again went by ambulance to the hospital where I almost died. I was blue and floppy, and the EMTs said I was a "goner." You need to make your doctors understand how severe your breathing is so they will do something before it gets really bad!