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Emphysema - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with emphysema.

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Comment from: Henrya, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 10

Believe it or not emphysema is beatable. I did it. I'm male and 57 years old. I was diagnosed with mild emphysema 6 years ago. Before I was diagnosed, I was smoking on average 30 cigarettes/day at least for 35 years. I quit smoking the same night that I was diagnosed. I never smoked again. I had my regular life and no change in life style after I was diagnosed. Six months ago I had much more shortness of breath. I went to my doctor, they took PFT and CT scan, and emphysema had progressed to higher level to moderate level. I asked the doctor how long I will live. It progressed from mild to moderate within 5 to 6 years. He had no answer. I was prescribed steroid tablets for a week, and shortness of breath improved 40 to 50 percent. Then I was prescribed Advair inhaler. I used it for a month and I had better breathing but too many side effects, dizziness, and tiredness. I stopped Advair after a month. I decided to change my life style. I did it and beat emphysema. I did either brisk walking or aerobic activity for minimum 60 minutes/day. I pursued lips and diaphragmatic breathing 3 to 4 times a day, 5 to 6 minutes each time. Most important was eating habits change, I take vegetable, fish, meat, egg, seeds and fruit on a daily basis now. No processed food. Processed food like sausages and bacon are not are dangerous for emphysema patients. No potato, rice and white bread. I'm taking vitamin A and NAC supplement on a daily basis. I am taking flax and chia seeds every day. I had PFT and lung scan last week. Results show no emphysema or obstruction. Doctor says he has never seen such a thing in 30 years of his career.

Comment from: ladycooper, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I have emphysema and have never smoked a day in my life. I cough all the time, some bouts for as long as 30 minutes. I do not really know how to cope with it and have a poor quality of life. I have had it for about 2 years and have been told that I could die within 5 years.

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.


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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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