Emphysema

Question:

What was the treatment for your emphysema? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: WilRod, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I was a two pack a day smoker for many years. I started inhaling tobacco smoke at the age of nine. That is why my doctor ordered a CT scan of my lungs. No surprise when he showed me the damage I did to my right lung. A beet red area on my lower right lung about the length of my index finger. A very ugly sight. I started using the nicotine patch. I started with the 21 mg patch. I did some research and learned the brand of cigarettes I was smoking had roughly 1 mg of nicotine in one cigarette. The 21 mg helped a bit but my cravings were intense and I smoked about 2 cigarettes a day until I cut a 21 mg patch in half and added it to my other 21 mg patch. I did that for 6 days. I used the 21mg for about a week then dropped down to the 14 mg for about 10 gays. I was still smoking 2 a day. It's a crazy addiction and I found it very difficult to beat. I dropped down to the 7 mg patch which I am using now but the good news is I stopped smoking 5 days ago. Slowly but surely (ten weeks) I am now a nonsmoker. It took a total of 70 days to get here. I still have cravings but they are minor and only last a few seconds. I'm not recommending my path, just sharing how I did it. I smoked for 55 years and now I don't even take a puff. We all have a choice when dealing with emphysema. We can quit and live a little longer or we continue to smoke and die a little sooner. I love to smoke. It was my best friend for decades. Now it's my worst enemy. If I can beat it, you can, too.

Comment from: Lucy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 10

Last August I was told I had mild emphysema. I was shocked, I had only had minor breathing problems at times. However I had smoked for 17 years when I was very young and had quit over 38 years ago, when I developed asthma. I always heard your lungs were cleared 5 years after you quit smoking, but they don't tell you the damage is already done! Mild is not mild, I am on oxygen all the time. Steps are a major stress as is trying to walk and talk at the same time. Stop smoking! It will kill you.

Comment from: von, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I have all the symptoms of emphysema and chronic bronchitis; chest tightness and back pain, coughing blood, shortness of breath when I exercise, and always tired. Overinflated lungs is all that shows on x-ray but I cannot get diagnosed with anything, and cannot get the right medication. My symptoms get worse when I go the city with the smog and near the ocean and unflued gas heaters and cooking smells. So as you can imagine, everyone tells me it is in my head; definitely not. I have been perfectly fine up until 4 years ago when all this started. I don't know where to turn to next. I had bronchoscopy, CT chest scan, MRI of back (for the pain); my symptoms just are not getting better. I have seen 3 respiratory doctors and all say there is nothing and I cannot work out what's happening.

Comment from: Patty Greenberg, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I am 55 years young. I was diagnosed this past May. I quit smoking the day I found out.

Patient Comments & Reviews

Medically reviewed by James E Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease

REFERENCES:

eMedicine.com. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/807143-overview>

eMedicine.com. Emphysema.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/298283-overview>

Previous contributing authors and editors: Author: Christopher J Ware, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine.

Coauthor(s): Joseph S Bushra, MD, FAAEM, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine Philadelphia, PA, Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Lankenau Hospital Wynnewood, PA.

Editors: Ruben Olmedo, MD, Chief, Division of Toxicology, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James S Cohen, MD, Consulting Staff, James Cohen, PC.

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