help- a little advice/knowledge? copd/asthma/anything?

After Christmas I went to doctors with wheezing chest ,tighteness, cough, unable to exercise. I'm 29 and these symptoms have started after I stopped smoking a year ago- but increasingly got worse. My recommended peak flow should be 440 but was 350 so my GP give me a reliever inhaler-which barely made a difference after a week of using inhaler and recording peak flow (250 peakflow in am- raising to 350 max)- I was given a reliever inhaler to use twice daily and return in 8 weks to see how I'm feeling. Today I had the spirometery test. The nurse said I hade lung age of 58 year old and then 50 year old after inhaler- however she said she couldn't tell me if I have asthma or not/ and wouldn't think it was copd but I would have to speak to GP- she said result said normal-but she didn't know if that meant I didn't have/have any particular condition- Could anyone shed some light on this for me- I don't have any clue and next doctors appointment is in two weeks. any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

10 Replies

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  • Hi I am sorry you are going through this and now wonder you are worried. It sounds like you saw just a general nurse and not a respiratory one which is why she couldn't interpret the results for you. It is very unlikely you have copd at such a young age but not unheard of.

    If I was you I would try and see the doctor earlier or at least arrange a phone call from him/her. You can't spend the next 2 weeks worrying about this and it's going to make you very anxious.

    If you are diagnosed with copd make sure, because of your young age, that you get the test called Apha 1 Deficiency which is genetic, though rare. It is a simple blood test to rule it out. Do you have any close relations with lung problems?

    Even if you do have copd it will be at an early stage and that is very far from being a death sentence as you can hold it steady for many years and live virtually a normal life.

    Let us know what happens please. I am thinking of you. x

  • Thanks for your kind and helpful reply coughalot2 the soonest appointment I could get is in two weeks- I'm just confused is to find out if I have asthma or copd- I'm assuming its something even my work collegues have commented on cough/wheeze at work especially in this damp weather x

  • Hi it's much more likely to be asthma than copd. I was diagnosed with this around my early 30's which the doctor said was triggered off by smoking. Can't you even ring up and speak to your (or another) doctor as surely they can tell you which one if any it is over the phone? x

  • To be honest im a bit stumped if your spiriometry is ok and everything how can she say lungs are like a 58year old can you tell us all the tests you had

  • had peak flow measured firstly- then given blue inhaler, then after week was given brown one but they wanted to test spiro- that's been it until now- it hought it was just asthma test not copd so I'm unsure

  • It will prob be ok they thought i had copd and like your other reply its not a death sentence and at your age providing youve stopped smoking sometimes they offer lung transplant

  • They only offer lung transplants in the last stage of lung disease and most people aren't suitable anyway.

  • Sorry you've had this development, but there may be some good news in that it was caught early. I'm 66 with the lungs of a 90 year old (and the blood pressure of a 20 year old, so take your pick!). I can't say I'd ever noticed except for incessant colds in winter. Because I've never smoked, I was given the diagnosis of fixed small airways obstruction and late onset asthma. Like you, I don't notice the difference with Ventolin, though I am told it improves my breathing by about 20%; the rest is fixed, so requires a different approach. You may find you've got a bit of both and may be prescribed a combined inhaler or other treatment, and you might also find that you're current respiratory problems clear in the Spring (let's hope so, anyway!). I've yet to find a suitable combined inhaler, so I can't tell you how effective they are - I just struggle on with the colds and hope Spring comes early! If I can find this thread again, I'll let you know how I get on and would be interested in your progress, too. Hope it's all resolved soon for you.

  • Thanks for your reply I will let you know how I get on thanks again x

  • Spirometry Tests that indicate COPD can be erroneous as certain other conditions such as Eosinophilic Asthma can produce similar Spirometry Results. 29 Seems somewhat young for COPD unless you previously smoked like a chimney (a typical contributory factor). Regarding poor relief from your inhaler, this is frequently due to poor inhalation technique - especially where new to Inhaler use. Suggest get a Spacer to use in conjunction with your inhaler plus watch a couple of YouTube videos on Inhaler usage tips. Empty lungs fully, then inhale your Meds slowly - not in a fast breath in - hold the inhaled Meds in your lungs as long as you can comfortably do so. Note, if Asthma attack is severe, doctors will often advise that you can take up to 8 Puffs of Inhaler in one go - but check with your doctor as this reply should not be taken as professional advice.

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