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Emphysema - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with emphysema.

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Comment from: Me, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 04

I have emphysema. I use the albuterol inhaler whenever I feel that I need it. I wheeze when I lie down to sleep either for a nap after breakfast in the morning, as well as when I try to sleep at night at bedtime. The wheezing keeps me from falling asleep and it is bothersome. I do admit that my breathing is getting worse over time. I try to run with my dog and I do go to the gym every day to work out because I like doing something but I always take two puffs off my inhaler before I go. I eat most of my meals at home and I prepare nutritious food and I eat full meals so that I don't snack on junk food in-between my three meals. I am keeping my focus on trying to stay positive however I do know that my time on this earth is now limited because I can see the progression of my disease. I am not going to doctors because there is no cure, only treatments. Yes, I do want to live but I know that I only have about five years.

Comment from: Patti, 65-74 (Patient) Published: April 13

I was diagnosed with stage 1 emphysema in 2010. Not sure how long I had it before being diagnosed. I am now in stage 2, and losing my breath quite easily even when doing housework, and I have to walk my dogs slowly. I sometimes have chest pains and tightening like I'm wearing my bra too tight, when I don't even have one on. I was doing fine while exercising and riding my bike, but have stopped doing both. I keep saying I'm going to start again, but sometimes wonder what the use is. I don't understand why they haven't done more studies on emphysema, plenty of people die from it. I guess I'm afraid of the death, as I've heard it isn't pretty. But I try not to think about it. I did this to myself by smoking for nearly 40 years, but I did quit the very day I was diagnosed, with the help of e-cigarettes. Don't start smoking, young people and if you have, stop!

Comment from: Doris, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I am 72 years young, and I started smoking when I was 13; I know that was crazy. But I did it anyway, both my mother and sister died of emphysema, I watched them gasp for air but that did not stop me and I smoked for 60 years. I take 2 inhalers, I can hardly to anything; oh, let me take that back, I can't do anything. I just about walk to living room from my bedroom and I cannot breathe, I am on 2 1/2 liters of oxygen, but it really doesn't help. I can take a shower without help, find that I can't breathe; so many things one can do, but life just stops, and you only have one thing left and that is trying to breathe. Please, if you smoke, quit! I thought I would never get COPD or emphysema but you can and you will. Please quit today.

Comment from: Billy, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

After having a persistent cough for over a year, I was diagnosed with COPD in March this year. In that time my emphysema has got worse to the point where not only do I have trouble sleeping at night, I also struggle to get air into my lungs. At best, I can get about 1.5 to 2 hours sleep before I have to get up. When I do get up my routine is that I have to sit on the edge of my bed for about 20 minutes, I then literally stagger into the sitting room and open a window to try and get some air. All the heating is turned off at night and there is ventilation, but even with that nights are a misery.

Comment from: Im so scared, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I read all these stories and my heart goes out to all of you. I have emphysema on 98 percent of my lungs and the 1 section that was clear has a pulmonary embolism, blood clot, blocking the air to my heart. I am on Advair, Ventolin, the nebulizer and oxygen. I also take warfarin for blood clot and hopefully preventing any more. I am on a good diet and walk and ride a bike, but coughing is just getting worse. I watch my husband so scared that he may lose me at any time, I am hurting so bad. All I can say now is If anyone is going to decide to smoke, please don`t.

Comment from: Timmy, Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04

I watched my mom get weaker every day. This emphysema knocks one down to nothing. There were many 911 calls with heart attacks and other issues. Lung cancer finally developed, I never realized that these two could go together. She could not walk to the toilet by herself. I had to force her to stop smoking as she was a vehement smoker, even with COPD. I had to threaten my mother with a nursing home. She passed from pneumonia. Her life was awful. If you smoke, please stop, please don't start. This is a long and terrible way to die.

Comment from: Peterson Allen, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 18

I was told I had emphysema in 2014 when I was 45 years old. I smoked for 30 years, but quit smoking as soon as I was told that I had COPD. Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did. But I knew I would die if I didn't. My health was getting so bad that I needed oxygen 24/7 and was down to 92 lb. Thankfully, in 1999 I got lung volume reduction surgery. It saved my life. I no longer needed oxygen and was able to climb stairs, dance, and travel the world. That good fortune lasted for almost 13 years. I am now back on oxygen 24/7 and can't climb stairs, dance or travel the world.

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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 were the symptoms of your emphysema?



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