Viewer Comments: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Symptoms

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Symptoms

The symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

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Comment from: Carol, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I grew up with asthma; I suffered sinus and respiratory infections my entire life. I started smoking at 15. When I was in my early 40s, my asthma was becoming increasingly worse. I was diagnosed with COPD at age 47. I am now 55. I quit smoking four years ago. The disease does not improve. My "good days" are far and few these days. My dad and his dad died from this. My older sister was just diagnosed three years ago. My son was diagnosed with beginning stages at age 25. (He doesn't smoke.) My sister's daughter was just diagnosed at 33 (smoker). It's a hard disease that seems to start out like bad asthma and progresses into chronic lung infections.

Comment from: Sheryl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

Well it was a bit of a shock for me even though I smoked, my symptoms weren't particularly severe and still aren't but I had been sick with bronchitis for three months, but it was the pain in my left side that made me ask to get a chest x ray, I was then told it was COPD, huh? I have nearly quit, only been 4 days and down from 20 a day to 4. I think it was caught early and I expect to feel better soon, it's just getting through this bronchitis stage that's hard and confusing and I will expect to get sick each year now. I did notice I was breathless on steep inclines, but then I was 16 years ago so smoking did that, but my only symptoms at the time of my diagnosis was that I couldn't bring up any mucus and I had a pain in my left side, that was all.

Comment from: Neville Mac, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: January 15

I was diagnosed with COPD in 1998. I am 78 now but sometimes wonder if the diagnosis is correct. The reasons are that during the day I have very little coughing of phlegm, never have shortness of breath and never really wheeze during the day. At night when I lay down I cough nearly 20 times a night bringing up phlegm but in the morning it is calm again with no coughing and no phlegm.

Comment from: Miranda, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I have been diagnosed with Mild COPD today. I have never smoked in my life! I am a 43yr old woman.

Comment from: Silverflower, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

Dyspnea is definitely my primary symptom which urged me to get help. I had always has a mild cough and was out of shape and a smoker so not being a marathon runner didn't bother me, because I was still able to hike and walk up stairs with minimal symptoms. I could still do the things that I loved and so I didn't care that sometimes I had to take more breaks than my peers on a hike as long as I could do it. Then I got the flu--horrible respiratory flu that had me in bed sleeping for 3 days straight and sick for 5 days after that. After that I began having increasing palpitations and shortness of breath that began interfering with my everyday life. I was only 30 and developing intense anxiety simultaneously because I was in an intense college program and now I was struggling to keep up with my program and every other aspect of my life. Finally my doctor discovered what it was and I found the less I smoked the more my symptoms improved. I still believe smoker or not I likely have the AAT deficiency gene, because I have been diagnosed so young--30 to me is just too young to be diagnosed COPD under normal circumstances, but that is something I still have to discuss with my doctor.

Comment from: madmax16, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 23

I am 60 years old and met my husband when I was 15. (In 1966) We were soul mates he was my whole life, tragically he died in January 2011 and attempting to carry on without him some days seems like an impossible task. He started getting chest infections which grew worse over the past few years - he then went onto home oxygen 6 months before he died. I had never heard of C.O.P.D. before his illness it is really heartbreaking to watch your loved one struggle to breathe - I would give anything to have him back. Smoking does what is says on the packet.

Comment from: DARLENE B, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

Hi everyone out there! I have COPD and I'm 57 years old. I had smoked since I was 15yrs old (taking cigs from mom's pack without her knowing). I was a bartender for 16years. Breathing in all that smoke. I didn't smoke that much, maybe 1/2pk a day. After so many years, I started to breath heavy. About 2.5 years ago, I started having a hard time breathing just going back and forth from my bed room. So I went to the doctor's office, asked for a wheel chair for them to take back to the room. They said I was about to crash. They got my oxygen level up so my bf could take me. The ambulance was on its way. Now, I'm on oxygen 24/7. I quit smoking about 2 weeks right as I was getting sick. I rather live little longer than smoke. Smoking is a crutch. Kick it out, and you will live longer and happier. Do breathing exercises. My COPD is on the border line of medium to serious.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):

COPD - Symptoms

What symptoms have you experienced with COPD?

COPD - Medications

What medications have been effective in treating your COPD?

COPD - Treatments

What treatments have been effective in treating your COPD?

COPD - Experience

Please describe your experience with COPD.

COPD - Treatment

What was the treatment for your COPD?

COPD - Prognosis

What is your COPD prognosis?

COPD - Experience

Please describe your experience with COPD.



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