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Emphysema - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with emphysema.

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Comment from: Jen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 15

I was diagnosed with emphysema in 2008, I have to be on oxygen 16 hours minimum. I have 27% lung function. I have lost count of the times that I have been hospitalized. I worked full time, but found it was getting too much for me, so I now have Wednesdays off and it's made the world of difference.

Comment from: Sagebrush, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 20

Right after my 58th birthday I was informed by my doctor after having some chest X-rays that I had mild emphysema. I had smoked for 35 years. I kept smoking and started getting sick about 3 or 4 months later. I ended up in intensive care for six days in septic shock from double pneumonia and almost died.

Comment from: Caan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I am a long term smoker and I have just been diagnosed with this horrible disease. I first started to experience difficulty in breathing about 10months ago since then it has got progressively worse, I have come back from the hospital today where I was told that it is damaging the right side of my heart. I don't know if I can give up smoking even though it is putting me through this and if I do I am told I cannot repair the damage.

Comment from: phyl7684, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

To all those involved in the treatment and warning, I applaud all of you. I am a COPD patient since 1995. I haven't smoked in 16 years, but the damage was done long ago. I am now 72 years old, and now my doctor suggests lung reduction. My CT scan showed that the upper part of my lungs is destroyed by emphysema. I have 37 percent left in my lungs that do not get enough air because of the blockage from emphysema and the scarring. I have to make a decision about the lung reduction. I am kind of scared of the surgery considering my age. On a lighter note, your article was very informative and I want to thank you. It gave me more information than my physician. Sincerely, Phyllis

Comment from: tom, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 05

My mother is a heavy smoker. Before Christmas, my mother was taken to the hospital and was told that she has emphysema. She is only 50 years old. This disease changed my mother's life. She used to be out every morning helping elderly people and volunteering at the church and other things. Now, she can barely walk a flight of stairs. This is really frightening.

Comment from: Irish, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I am a woman of 79. I stopped smoking in November 1993. I have had emphysema for about four years, although as far back as 6 years ago I found that I was having trouble walking up steps. I try to exercise, but have no strength in my legs and lose all energy. I do get breathless and cough a bit, but I found that a nasal spray clears out a lot of the mucus and cuts down the coughing. The things that bother me the most are the cramps. I get them in my legs, body, and hands mostly. They are extremely painful and take a lot of heat to dissipate. I find that a large glass of water and deep breathing also help. I can't find anyone else who also gets these horrors and I'm wondering if they are symptoms of something else and not just lack of oxygen to the muscles.

Comment from: Michael, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 17

About 10 years ago I started having breathing problems. I went to a doctor and found out that I have emphysema. About 30 years ago I had quit smoking and thought I had gotten away disease-free. I was waking up coughing up mucus. I had to have a cigarette to stop coughing. Now I'm retired and living with my disease. I use mostly Combivent to control my symptoms. I tried more expensive medications without success. Physical condition has a lot to do with symptoms. When I gain weight I have problems. Right now I'm switching to a new diet in hopes of improving blood flow.

Comment from: jls, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 01

I have recently (two months ago) been diagnosed with emphysema. I have been a smoker for 20 years. I quit smoking two months ago; the next day I was diagnosed. I currently work every day, but I am finding it more difficult energy-wise. I am also dealing with personality change (mood swings), and I wonder if it is from my disease or from recently quitting smoking.

Comment from: polly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I've had COPD about 20 years, after 25 years of asthma. It changed but every doctor said it was still asthma. I was diagnosed 4 years ago. But whenever I look at what the symptoms are one of them is cough. I don't have one and even when I smoked (21 years ago) I didn't. I have short days because I'm so tired after 6 or 7 hrs being up. Being out all day makes me feel like a rag doll the next. Also, the winters are getting worse. Cold wind knocks the air right out of me. I'd really like some input about the lack of cough.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Emphysema:

Emphysema - Treatment

What was the treatment for your emphysema?

Emphysema - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your emphysema?



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